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News, 10/31/2018

My Finternship: An Experience Like No Other

Curious about what our fantastic Finterns get up to in D.C.? Sophia Lawson, External Economic Relations Intern recaps her time in the U.S. capital and our Embassy.

Sophia Lawson.

In early 2017, I was sitting on a plane that only hours later would land in Helsinki. I had just finished an unforgettable exchange semester in Pittsburgh, PA, and said farewell to the United States and all the great memories I had made there. Turns out, it didn’t take long for me to find my way back. Barely a year later I was back on the plane. Only this time, the nation’s capital as my destination.

As a Social and Public Policy student, I could not have dreamed of a better place for my internship than Washington D.C. The city that lives and breathes policymaking. For the past six months, I’ve been working as the external economic relations intern at the embassy. During this time, I have reported on various topics (e.g. trade, agriculture, energy), attended congressional hearings and so much more. I was even a sauna host for international guests at one of our spring events.

We traveled together with the other Embassy FInterns!

At times, life as an intern in the District can be quite overwhelming. I was somewhat familiar with the city since I had visited D.C. a few times before. However, everyday life here has not necessarily been what I expected. Countless times, I found myself in situations one could only dream. I’ve had the chance to visit the White House and attend events at some of the most influential think tanks in the world. And that one time, when I found myself in an elevator with Sen. Bernie Sanders at one of the Senate office buildings. Every now and then, I stop in awe and wonder, “How did I even end up here?”

If you’re a traveler at heart, you couldn’t find a more convenient home base. For example, cities on the East Coast such as New York, Philadelphia, and Boston are only a stone’s throw away. My fellow interns and I took full advantage of our days off and traveled around the country. I even ended up spending a holiday in both Mexico and Canada.

These past six months at the embassy have taught me a lot. Not just about the world of politics, but myself as a junior staff member as well. As sad as it is to leave this city behind, I’m excited to see what the future holds. This time, I won’t make the same mistake of saying goodbyes. Therefore, see you soon!

Text by: Sophia Lawson, External Economic Relations Intern

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Updated 11/2/2018

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