Monday, March 23, 2009

From Seattle to DC and Back (Part 5)

My responsibilities at my internship include researching tariff and taxes rates for various countries that exporters are send their products to and responding to these requests in a timely manner. I also answer these questions on the phone along with other information that exporters may want to know about such as sanctions and export licenses. I also work with the China Business Center in research projects and other tasks. In addition, I do research and projects for other regions.

A highlight that sticks out is going to John Hopkins University, School of Advanced International Studies for a presentation about being in the Foreign Service. I am interested in the other agencies especially Commerce and USAID as what these two agencies do when taken in aggregate has a substantial impact on foreign relations.

The experience of being in Washington DC has been an interesting and exciting semester so far as I am always expanding my knowledge through my internship, class, and events around DC. This is also a very unique time to be in Washington DC as it has again become the focal point with the new administration and for many due to the issues that are facing the world.

I was finally contacted by the Capital Region Maryland Small Business Center. The surprising part of this was I was just inquiring about doing some volunteer work with them but they offered me an internship instead! Sadly, due to the distance of College Park the logistics of doing this would not work. I have also been attending weekly events around DC focusing on trade and China issues. Besides this I have been able to learn a lot at my internship by just talking with people in my office as they have a wealth of knowledge and experience. At this point I’m considering interviewing someone at the Foreign Commercial Service section for the informational interview. I’m also considering arranging to continue my internship at the Commercial Service office in Seattle when I go home.

Nathan Gardner
Boeing Fellow
International Trade Administration
U.S. Department of Commerce