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

Notes from the Field: Genna Liu '19

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Genna Liu '19 interns at U.S. Department of State in the Bureau of East Asian Affairs, Office of Regional and Security Policy (EAP/RSP) for the Winter 2018 term.

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Genna Liu '19 interned at U.S. Department of State in the Bureau of East Asian Affairs, Office of Regional and Security Policy (EAP/RSP) for the Winter 2018 term. The following is an excerpt from her internship report.

This winter I interned at the U.S. Department of State in the Bureau of East Asian Affairs, Office of Regional and Security Policy (EAP/RSP). EAP/RSP is responsible for strategies in the Indo-Pacific region, including the new free and open Indo-Pacific strategy of the administration. Working in the public sector on foreign affairs, especially on Asia, has been a longstanding dream of mine. Participating in the development and implementation of foreign policies and strategies, representing one’s country on the international stage, and serving and protecting the public were some of the most humbling and honorable responsibilities I have ever had.

At RSP, I was able to participate in a variety of projects, including the confirmation process of the acting assistant secretary, an inventory of current governmental programs in the Indo-Pacific region, and preparation for various meetings and courtesy calls. The experience exceeded my already high expectations for the internship—I loved working in a fast-paced environment that fosters learning and encourages questions. One of the best parts of my internship was the opportunity to experience the news as it happened. One of my responsibilities was to compile all speeches delivered by senior officials on the Indo-Pacific region. In addition to checking each department’s website, I scavenged through Politico Playbook every morning to see if any officials gave a speech at a private organization somewhere. I enjoyed how the news was so integrated with our everyday responsibilities in the office, such as seeing a press release the bureau previously provided guidance on in the news and finding out about a testimony by an official that my office previously provided clearance for. 

This internship allowed me to move outside the classroom and participate in the policy-making process in the Indo-Pacific region, learn from experienced foreign and civil service officers, and see the inner workings of the government. Much of the learning came from working on projects, getting feedback, and talking with the officers in the office. I also gained a clearer perspective on future schooling and career options. I hope to apply the information I learned to seek out more information and read more about the U.S. strategy in the region and use the skills I developed to be an effective and dependable coworker. I am so grateful for this opportunity—made possible through funding from the Rockefeller Center. In addition to the generous funding support, the Rockefeller Center also prepared me for this internship through the Policy Research Shop (PRS). PRS provided training for research, especially on how to seek out information and draft a succinct and thorough paper. These two skills enabled me to learn quickly and communicate effectively.

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