Notes from the Field: Jenna Shin ’18

Jenna Shin ’18 interned at the United States Department of State, Office of Foreign Missions Houston Regional Office for the Summer 2017 term. The following is an excerpt from her internship report.

During the summer of 2017, I interned at The United States Department of State - Office of Foreign Missions Houston Regional Office. The U.S. Department of State Office of Foreign Missions (OFM) serves the interests of the American public, the American diplomatic community abroad, and the foreign diplomatic community residing in the U.S. ensuring that all diplomatic benefits, privileges, and immunities would be properly exercised in accordance with federal laws and international agreements.

As an advocate for reciprocal agreements, OFM presses for fair treatment of U.S. personnel abroad, while assuring that foreign diplomats based in the United States receive the same treatment that each respective government provides in return.

In my internship at the Houston Regional Office, I helped manage diplomatic support for the office and composed, researched, and participated in briefings, training sessions, and official meetings. Specifically, my main tasks were to draft briefings and presentations for local foreign consulates on topics of emergency preparedness, foreign country information, and other knowledge by interfacing with law enforcement, city and state officials, service providers, and foreign diplomats. I also accompanied the Regional Director and staff on visits to local foreign consulates for promotion of OFM programs encompassing an 8-state region, as well as diplomatic meetings, lectures, and events. I got to meet and receive advice from a variety of diplomats, foreign service officers, and State Department employees.

This internship gave me a great first exposure to what it is like to work in the government. It was an invaluable experience as someone interested in pursuing a professional career in government and law, and allowed me to develop a rich set of skills both personally and professionally. Working at the State Department allowed me to experience working full-time in a government agency in the real world. I also discovered how to be both proactive, collaborative, and independent in my work pursuits. I was able to discover what it means to enjoy my job and look forward to meaningful projects every day. This internship really furthered my career, and I am incredibly grateful that the Rockefeller Center made it possible for me to pursue this opportunity and receive so much support throughout the process.