The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences

Notes from the Field: Anna Ghnouly '16

Article Type 

Rockefeller Center-funded interns reflect on their experiences as part of our Notes from the Field series. The Rockefeller Center helps students find, fund, and prepare for a leave-term internship experience in public policy research, public policy analysis, issue evaluation, or activities which help shape and determine public policy.

Student Intern: Anna Ghnouly '16

Internship Organization:
US Mission to the United Nations

How would you describe your employer in one paragraph? What’s the elevator pitch?
The US Mission to the United Nations (USUN) is responsible for carrying out the nation’s participation in the world body. Created in 1947 to assist the President and the Department of State in conducting United States policy at the United Nations, today USUN serves to represent the United States' political, economic, social, legal, military, public diplomacy, and management interests.

What are your specific responsibilities in the organization?
My specific responsibilities change daily. Some specific tasks I completed over the past few weeks include creating binders of research on weighted voting and Security Council reform in the UN for Ambassador Isobel Coleman, making Excel graphs to visualize information on UN budget and assessment rates, familiarizing myself with issues that will be voted on during the Fifth Committee's resumed session in March, developing and maintaining databases, and accompanying Section staff to meetings with UN officials and representatives from other missions and documenting the results in reports and cables.

How did you feel on the first day of your internship?
I felt confident on the first day of my internship since I had already interned with the US Mission to the UN in Rome the previous summer. On my first day, I was unable to get my security badge. I didn't get to do very much because as I could not log into the Department of State computer. Therefore, it was a relatively stress-free day. It wasn't until day two when I started getting bombarded with assignments!

What is your favorite part of the internship so far?
My favorite part of this internship experience so far is feeling like I'm an integral part of the team. I get to speak at all of the staff meetings, and Ambassador Coleman frequently engages with me directly, which was not the case with the Ambassador in Rome. In addition, an expert asked me to generate my own thoughts for my research on weighted voting. My final document was given directly to the Ambassador for her to read.

What challenges have you faced so far?
So far my biggest challenge is balancing my internship with Dartmouth research projects I'm conducting from off-campus. This takes great time management and making sure I use my weekends effectively.

Broadly speaking, what do you hope to achieve by the end of your internship?
I hope I gain greater confidence in my abilities to accomplish all of the tasks given to me, and I hope that there will be a day when I understand everything that is said during staff meetings. Right now there are so many acronyms that it's nearly impossible!

What have been some practical lessons you've learned in the day-to-day life of your internship?
I wear boots to walk to work and bring my heels with me to wear in the office. The subway is never that crowded. I like getting to work at least 10 minutes early because then I can respond to all of my emails before the actual work-day starts. I bring a pad of paper and pen anywhere I go because I almost always have to write something down.

The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences