The 2016 Presidential Election. Bruinwalk, Westwood CA.
Amidst the shouts of “Pre-Med or Pre-Health”, boxes of pastries from Porto’s, and countless flyers for volunteering opportunities, were tables dedicated to having every UCLA student register to vote.
It’s no surprise that for years, young adult voters have had an underwhelming turnout. Scholars say that young adults don’t feel connected enough to their community to vote. However, this was not the case for the 2016 presidential election, where voter turnout is estimated as being higher than the years 1972 to 2000.
Students are becoming more active within their communities. Just walking through Bruin Walk proves how dedicated we are to our organizations.
This week we highlight Ina Thigith, a third year Political Science major who’s taken her passion for politics all the way to the United States Embassy in London.
Major: Political science with a concentration in international relations.
Minor: Geography .
Her Campus: What inspired you to apply for an internship at the United States Embassy?
Ina Thigith: I originally applied as a means of pursuing my interest in travel, as well as to gain professional experience while being a part of a meaningful conversation in America’s international relationships
HC: Was it difficult living in a foreign country on your own, without the support of school or family?
IT: I have always been a relatively independent person, but traveling definitely makes me anxious. It took a lot of self-reflection to convince myself to go, but ultimately I felt that the experience would help me grow both personally and professionally. Once I bought my ticket I knew I would have to make it work, so I made a list of what I wanted to get out of my experience. This helped to push me to branch out and pursue my interests.
HC: What were your responsibilities as an intern?
IT: Interning at the U.S. Embassy in London was an experience that allowed me to assert myself and develop confidence in the workplace (I was an intern in the Economic Affairs Department). I was given freedom in terms of choosing projects to focus on, which gave me the opportunity to reach out to members of the department and develop projects that would both suit my interests and be of use to the State Department. I was able to work with representatives of Haver Analytics to develop more efficient methods of reporting economic analysis to Washington through the capital markets report, as well as work with members of other foreign embassies to develop an international intern network to bring members of the government intern community together within the city.
HC: What were some difficulties you faced?
IT: At times it was difficult to have so much freedom, because I really had to assert myself within the department to develop personal projects. I also had to make a conscious effort to keep tabs on upcoming events, lecture series, etc. to ensure that I would be able to attend if I was interested. However, this allowed me to become confident in my abilities to create meaningful work for myself.
HC: What was your Favorite Memory?
IT: My favorite memories including touring Lloyd’s insurance market in London’s financial district and getting to sit in on Parliament during the Prime Minister’s Question Time
HC: How has your experience working at the Embassy shaped your plans for the future?
IT: From here I hope to continue to pursue my interests in issues of international economics. I had a start in Hong Kong, learning about the local business climate, and then had the opportunity to become involved in relevant topics of economic concern in London following Brexit; ultimately I hope to be able to continue to learn and become involved in issues of importance on a global scale.
HC: What advice do you have for other students who may want to pursue working for the government?
IT: You have to be willing to put in a lot of effort in the work you do. Be open to developing your own projects, you’ll be in charge of yourself and be willing to ask for more involvement. Be willing to go out of your comfort zone, in terms of traveling and living on your own. Overall you’ll develop a sense of independence that maybe you didn’t have before.
If you’re interested in applying for this type of internship visit to the Career Center for more information including how to apply for scholarships.