Meet our interns
We have asked our current interns, Bradley, Mary, Nancy and Eric to share some of their thoughts about their experiences at EPLO and in Washington DC.
What is the most interesting aspect of EPLO’s Internship Program?
Bradley: I found the day-to-day interactions with fellow EPLO staff to be my favorite part of the trainee experience. Make sure you put in the time and effort to learn more about those you work with and don't be afraid to inquire about their respective cultures.
Mary: The most interesting aspect is working in a multicultural environment and getting to pursue projects related to your specific interests. There is work to be done to benefit the office internally and externally, as well as gain important experience in transatlantic relations.
Nancy: Working in a multi-national environment with purpose-driven individuals has been the most significant part of my internship. I also enjoyed attending events and listening to stakeholders from different sectors discuss their views on the transatlantic relationship in context of cyber security.
Erik: The EPLO internship exposes participants to a really unique kind of diplomacy and outreach and it allows one to learn a great deal from the policymaking community in Washington, D.C.
What is your favourite place to go or thing to do in Washington, DC?
Bradley: I really enjoyed exploring the various coffee shops and bookstores throughout the city. The places I would recommend would be: Kramers (coffee shop/bar and bookstore in Dupont), Capitol Hill Books (bookstore in Eastern Market), and Bourbon Coffee (coffee and light food in Foggy Bottom)
Mary: My favorite thing to do in D.C. is explore the many neighborhoods and try out different kinds of restaurants, visit markets, and more.
Nancy: My favorite place to go to in DC is the EPLO office.
Erik: I love the Jefferson Building at the Library of Congress. It is simply the most beautiful spaces in the city. In general, D.C. is a great place to live and work.
Can you tell us something about yourself that your colleagues might not know?
Bradley: Oh man, I love exploring all of the new art exhibits throughout the city and have been painting and writing poetry for over eight years.
How do you think this internship will help you or helped you when you left EPLO?
Bradley: It is an incredibly different work environment than I have ever experienced before. As a trainee, you are given a lot less direction and structure than a typical American political internship. It is on you to self-motivate and pursue your interests. This environment was initially a difficult adjustment, however, I became more independent as a result.
Mary: This internship, coupled with my experiences in the Euroculture Erasmus Mundus master's program, has provided me with a solid foundation and many connections within the world of transatlantic affairs. I feel very well prepared to pursue a career in this field, whether in government, at a think tank, or in the private sector.
Erik: I've definitely developed some great contacts and relationships during my internship and it will help me open a lot of doors as I begin my professional career.
What advice would you give to future interns?
Bradley: Meet the trainees in the EU Delegation office and spend time getting to know them. First and foremost this trainee experience allows you to experience a myriad of cultures so take advantage of that and try to always grab lunch with people who have different perspectives.
Mary: I would encourage future interns to be willing to step outside of your comfort zone and embrace the ever-changing nature of the work the office is doing. Since it is a relatively small team you can play a critical role but you need to be willing to speak up and be a team player!
Nancy: My advice for future interns would be to be proactive with your time.
Erik: Show up, go to events and be eager and enthusiastic about your work.
What have you enjoyed most about living in/exploring DC? Has anything surprised you so far?
Bradley: I grew up just outside of DC so I did not expect to be too surprised however, working around the Foggy Bottom/Dupont area allowed me to explore the food scene in a part of the city I previously spent little time in. I would recommend checking out: Ankara (Turkish food in Dupont), Bindaas (Indian street food in Foggy Bottom) as well as Boqueria (tapas in Dupont, if you have lunch at the bar your lunch is only $15).
Nancy: Living in the nation’s Capital allowed me to recognize the economic and political prowess of the United States- which has been both motivational and invigorating. The most surprising thing was the accessibility and closeness of all the historical sights.
Erik: Being here at this moment in the Trans-Atlantic relationship has been a really special and unique experience. It makes our work feel more consequential. I think I was surprised at the level of access an intern can get in this city to pretty high-level individuals in the delegation, in government, and in the private sector.