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

Notes from the Field: Sarah Morse '15

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: Sarah Morse '15

Internship Organization:
US Department of Commerce, International Trade Commission, US Commercial Service -
London, England

How would you describe your employer in one paragraph? What’s the elevator pitch?
The US Commercial Service UK has two primary objectives, to promote US exports into the UK and to facilitate foreign direct investment into the US from UK investors. We support US companies in a number of ways, such as providing market research, partner searches, and assistance planning networking and promotional events.

What are your specific responsibilities in the organization?
I deal with inbound inquiries from US companies interested in the UK market, support the work of our commercial specialists, and help with trade events such as the Farnborough International Air Show and round tables.

How did you feel on the first day of your internship?
Everyone in the office was extremely welcoming. All of the specialists, including the two heads of office, take time out of their days sometime in an intern's first two weeks to sit down with them and talk about what the office does and generally get to know them. My first week, I sat down for what I thought was going to be a short chat over coffee that ended up lasting an hour with one of my bosses. She provided so much insight about what working for the Foreign Service was like, the good and the bad, and shared personal experiences specific to this career path that I would not have heard otherwise.

What is your favorite part of the internship so far?
The most rewarding thing I've done was helping with the Farnborough International Air Show, the biggest trade event that my office coordinates. I was tasked with coordinating the activities and arrival of commercial specialists from around the world as well as Deputy Under Secretary of the International Trade Association, Ken Hyatt.

What challenges have you faced so far?
Because each commercial specialist is primarily concerned with his or her sector, they don't always communicate to each other about what projects they've given interns. I dealt with this by communicating what I've been tasked by other people each time someone asked me to do something. I also started asking for clarification on each task's priority and when they expected it to be completed.

What do you hope to achieve by the end of your internship?
I want my work to reflect well on me and on Dartmouth so that I can walk away from this internship with excellent recommendations as well as an amazing experience.

What have been some practical lessons you've learned in the day-to-day life of your internship?
When working abroad, try to ensure that a SIM card is compatible with your smart phone, if you have one, because buying a SIM card here is the cheapest and best option for using your cell phone abroad.

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