My name is Tajah McCray, and I am an M.A. candidate at the School of Diplomacy. In Summer 2021, I was a research intern with the Wadhwani Chair in U.S-India Policy Studies at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). CSIS is a think tank based out of Washington D.C. and its purpose is to define the future of national security. The Wadhwani team conducts research on how the United States and India can further enhance their cooperation in areas such as defense and economic development, including promoting business engagement between the United States and India, and the environment.
While pursuing my undergraduate degree in International Relations I went on an International Service-Learning Trip to India. I stayed in India for about a month and visited the states of Andhra Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. During my time in India, and after I returned to the United States, I knew that I wanted to continue my studies in the field of International Relations and further my knowledge of India and South Asia. That experience led me to the Diplomacy program here at Seton Hall University and the Internship with the Wadhwani Chair in U.S-India Policy Studies.
As a research intern, I had multiple tasks but two tasks that I enjoyed were tracking information regarding the COVID-19 outbreak in India and writing my own blog post to publish with CSIS. I enjoyed the research because it gave me a chance to explore the healthcare system of another state and I was exposed to different challenges India and other emerging states face regarding global health such as the lack of medical supplies and the impacts of vaccine nationalism.
I was given the freedom to write blog posts for CSIS on topics such as U.S-India relations, Indian economic reforms, innovation, and defense. While I was extremely excited about this opportunity it was challenging. The posts must be written in executive style writing which I am familiar with thanks to two classes I took here at Seton Hall which are Comparative Foreign Policy and the Statecraft of Foreign Policy. During these classes, I was tasked with writing an executive summary on U.S-Saudi Arabia relations and U.S-India relations. As a result, I felt prepared to write my blog post.
I would recommend this internship to anyone interested in learning about India or South/Southeast Asia. During my time at CSIS I covered India’s cooperation with China, Japan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and more. In addition, I expanded my knowledge on many areas related to international relations such as trade, defense, global health, and international law. I also had the opportunity to network with senior officials who are in careers that I potentially would like to enter such as becoming a Research Fellow in South Asia relations at the Heritage Foundation or entering a career in the civil service through the U.S. State Department. This internship has built my confidence and it truly was a great learning experience.