As a four-time State Department employee, I would not be where I am today without the experience I gained in my first assignment as an intern in the Secretary’s Office of Global Women’s Issues.
I arrived in DC as a wide-eyed student ready to soak up the ways of Washington and dive into public service. I learned about policy-making and ensuring that women across the world are included in shaping foreign policy. I was mentored by Foreign Service Officers whose paths exposed me to new ideas for my own career path after college. I learned from dedicated colleagues and the advocates we worked with on the U.S.-Afghan Women’s Council. Ultimately, my State Department internship showed me that each of us can make a difference working together for a greater mission.
No matter what you’re interested in, being a State Department intern is an exciting opportunity to gain insights on foreign policy and diplomacy, explore different career paths, and pick up skills that can help represent America to the world. State Department interns are integral to our work in advancing diplomacy domestically and at our embassies worldwide. And like me, many of our interns go on to serve in the Department.
Our internships help shape the next generation of diplomats. And that’s exactly why it’s so important for us to recruit interns that reflect the diversity of the United States – and why we’re so pleased to announce a new paid student internship program beginning this fall. By providing paid internships, the Department seeks to remove barriers for students who may not have the financial means to support themselves during an unpaid, volunteer internship. We’ve always valued our interns, and the new paid internship program will expand opportunities to gain foreign policy experience for students of all backgrounds.
To this day, I’m so grateful for my time as a State Department intern and couldn’t be happier that now more students will have access to this incredible opportunity. Hope to see you in the fall!
About the Author: Elizabeth M. Allen currently serves as the Senior Official for the Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs at the U.S. Department of State.