Noah Goldstein '18 interned at the U.S. Department of Commerce during the 2016 Fall Term. The following is an excerpt from his internship report
During the fall of 2016 I worked for the U.S. Department of Commerce – Trade Administration & Commercial Services in the U.S. Embassy at London as an international trade assistant. The organization is the trade branch of the government and, as this one was based in the UK, was responsible for encouraging U.S. exports to the UK. Through the Obama administration’s SelectUSA policy, the organization also has the added responsibility of encouraging FDI, or foreign direct investment, from the UK going into the US. Thus, any UK companies looking to set up an office in the U.S. can go to Commercial Services to receive support. Commercial Services acts as a middle man between interested US companies and actors in the markets in the UK, often coordinating meetings between the two. For example, firms trying to sell a product in the UK are often able to get in a room of around 30 potential clients/distributors and pitch their product, thanks to the efforts of my office.
For my internship, I was tasked with assisting the ten commercial specialists, each of whom has their own market area they are in charge of. The jobs I did ranged anywhere from doing market research reports and assisting with trade shows to answering the phone and escorting visitors in and out of the embassy. During my internship, I not only had multiple projects at a time, but they were all of different natures and purposes. Being able to engage in such a wide breadth of activities helped me hone in on what I am interested in, namely, FDI, financial services, and healthcare.
After an initial training period, I had a level of flexibility that allowed me to design my schedule, which gave me the opportunity to talk with specific specialists about wanting to be more involved in the work that they were doing. I was able to focus on the industries I enjoyed while also learning how to prioritize my work. I also had the opportunity to go to the World Travel Market, a 50,000 person trade show that occurred in early November. At the trade show, I ran the booth for my office, answering questions and networking with people in the travel industry. I immensely enjoyed my work with the SelectUSA specialist in the office, and, as such, plan on applying to a few firms in the private sector specializing in facilitating FDI for my upcoming summer internship.
I participated in the Management and Leadership Development Program (MLDP) in the spring of 2016. Among other things, my participation in the program taught me the importance of networking. Taking the lessons and advice from the program, I reached out to every person in my office for coffee, talking about how they got to their position, their education, places that they had worked at before, and their interests. Thanks to these effort, I was able to get ideas for companies to apply to alongside making connections in a variety of fields.