Monday, June 26, 2017

Students at SAIS Share their Summer Internship Journals

Every summer, students at SAIS work internships around the world, which give them the opportunity to apply what they learnt during the academic year to a professional setting. This summer, we'd like to share some of our students' journals to give our readers a glimpse of the diversity of the summer internships students pursue.  Below is the first diary entry by Gaston Melo Felgueres, a Mexican national in the Master of Arts (MA) program pursuing the conflict management concentration.

Following my first year of study at SAIS Europe, I was accepted this summer to intern for the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), located in Paris, France. Although I already had work experience in multilateral institutions, I really enjoyed learning about the mission of the department I am in, the Development Centre.

Ministerial meeting for the Latin America Economic Forum
As stated on its website, the mission of the OECD is “to promote policies that will improve the economic and social well-being of people around the world” by providing “a forum in which governments can work together to share experiences and seek solutions to common problems.” The Development Centre is one of the only departments of the OECD that works with emerging market countries. It is composed of regional teams, such as the Latin America and Caribbeans, West Africa and Sahel Club and various others. It aims to provide sound policy recommendations to these emerging economies in order to better approach “OECD standards”.

OECD Forum
I was assigned to the Director’s Office, while rotating with the Latin America and Africa teams. In my first week, I have already had quite a fulfilling experience. I was able to attend a forum with the Presidents of Peru and Guatemala, as well as meetings with Ministers from Argentina, Peru, Bolivia, Brazil and Guatemala. 

Throughout this summer, I will be given more responsibly than I have had in any of my previous jobs. I am currently analyzing the regional integration between Mercosur and the Pacific Alliance, while working on SMEs integrations into global value chains for the Latin American Economic Outlook 2018, a publication which analyzes issues related to Latin America’s economic and social development, and destined to share experiences and good practices with the region’s public officials.

Gaston (left) at the
 OECD Networking funcion
People at the OECD are incredibly diverse, and they encourage friendship among co-workers, organizing happy hours or athletic activities. I have been incredibly pleased with what I’ve learned and I am very glad that I took the International Trade Class at SAIS Europe this past spring before coming here.

Gaston Melo Felgueres
MA Student 
SAIS Europe 2017