My name is Andrew Cameron and I am a senior Diplomacy and International Relations major. This past fall I interned at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) in New York City. My work at the CFR was a very educational experience that provided me with some amazing opportunities. The second week into my internship notably coincided with the annual United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) meetings! This was one of the busiest weeks for the Council due to the large number of heads of state, scholars, and diplomats who travel into the city.
At CFR, I worked in the Corporate Department. Notably, CFR is far more than an organization that publishes Foreign Affairs magazine. With an elite corporate member base, my department regularly conducts events of varying sizes. Events range from conference calls where experts and senior executives weigh in from their offices worldwide, to large speaker seminars held at our Washington D.C. or New York office. The corporate department’s main function is to serve our members and educate them on international events. Proposed legislation, armed conflicts, and many other topics can be very pertinent to decisions companies make as they engage in global trade and commerce.
My position essentially comprised of two main job functions. The first area was logistics and event staffing. I had the opportunity to staff some very exciting events that included speakers such as then-Vice President Joe Biden to New Zealand Prime Minister John Key. For the most part I worked check in at the events, and I was then able to sit in on the meetings and work microphones during question and answer sessions. Given exposure to these very influential figures and having heard their ideas provided me with several exciting opportunities. To me this has definitely been the highlight of my position. Just as exciting was experience firsthand how the topics I have researched in my academic classes actually are discussed by high level executives and civil servants. For example, the New Zealand Prime Minister spoke to CFR about the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a trade agreement I wrote numerous papers on and discussed in many classes. Seeing how relevant my education is, and having the background knowledge to understand and analyze the statements made during these sessions is an extremely interesting and rewarding experience.
I definitely enjoyed my time at the Council on Foreign Relations. Getting a taste of the real world was an exciting adventure.