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

NOTES FROM THE FIELD: SAVANNAH ELLER '22

Savannah Eller ’22 interning with the Moscow branch of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace during the fall term.

Savannah Eller ’22 interning with the Moscow branch of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace during the fall term.

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Savannah Eller ’22 interned with the Moscow branch of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace during the fall term. The following is an excerpt from her internship report. 

This fall term, I completed an internship with the Moscow branch of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, an American think-tank publishing scholarship on topics concerning international relations. While originally based in Washington, DC, the Carnegie Endowment is unique among policy publications in that it has five international centers located in key world centers. The branch at which I completed my internship focused on analyzing news and politics within the Russian sphere of influence. The Carnegie Moscow Center (CMC) produces articles, studies, and other media on both domestic issues inside the Russian Federation and on the role of Russia in the wider scheme of international relations. 

While I have worked as a freelance writer and as a student journalist on campus, my internship with the CMC exposed me to content on another level in terms of importance and reach. I came out of the internship with a deep understanding of the major through lines of Russian politics. For example, by doing preliminary research for fellows and attending speaking events, I learned nuanced information about the upcoming 2024 Russian national election, including what major theories analysts have devised about Putin’s next steps and the possible fallout. 

My need to speak Russian in the workplace helped me to slowly grow more confident in my ability to speak clearly and to be understood on a professional basis. At the begin of my internship I spoke only in short bursts, afraid of embarrassing grammar mistakes or of freezing in the middle of a thought when a new vocabulary word would not come to me. Gradually, however, I began to speak more fluidly out of the shear necessity of being heard and understood by my coworkers. By the end of my internship, I was able to manage attending a business lunch with fellows where I followed and participated in a conversation about Brexit and the EU with reasonable ease.         

My internship with the CMC has fanned the spark of my interest in international relations, and my next term at Dartmouth reflects that change. I am now considering a minor in government with a focus on international relations coursework, in addition to my continued advancement through the Russian Language major requirements. I also plan to set aside time to continue traveling in Eastern Europe and Asia, exploring the former soviet republics and other areas in which Russian is a lingua franca.        

One of my main takeaways from my experience as an intern this term is that working at a public policy organization like CMC is rewarding and worthwhile in terms of public outreach. The stated goal of the Carnegie Endowment is to promote peace through mutual understanding, and I felt that the CMC was genuinely engaged with that goal. Accurate information about the government and current affairs is a rare commodity in the Russian Federation, and the CMC is able to deliver trustworthy analysis while occupying a practically unique niche in the media market. I now have a much better picture of the entire news media field, and I understand now that organizations like Carnegie can have just as important a role as traditional newspapers in a restricted environment.

I would like to sincerely thank the Rockefeller Center for making this experience possible.

The Rockefeller Internships Program has funding for Dartmouth undergraduate students to help defray the cost of living expenses associated with a full-time, unpaid, leave-term internships in the fields of public policy, public affairs, and social entrepreneurship.

 

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