Friday, December 5, 2014

The HNC Certificate/SAIS MA Experience: Interning in DC

The HNC Certificate/SAIS MA program allows students the opportunity to spend time in both China and Washington, D.C.  Read on to learn how current HNC Certificate/SAIS MA student Tyler Makepeace has taken advantage of SAIS's location in Washington to find a fall internship.  Interested in the HNC Certificate/SAIS MA?  The application deadline is about one month away so apply now!

Tyler Makepeace
After my year at the Hopkins-Nanjing Center, I arrived in Washington, D.C. for my first semester at SAIS’s D.C. campus, I did not intend on applying for a fall internship. However, my class schedule worked out such that I did not have class on Monday and Friday, and after the first few weeks of school, I realized that I had enough free time to be engaged in my coursework and to intern with an organization.  

I began my internship search using SAISworks, the Career Services online database for jobs, internships, and online courses offered throughout the year (also available to HNC students). One internship that I was particularly interested in was with the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE), one of the four core institutes of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED). CIPE is a non-profit organization that seeks to strengthen democracy through private enterprise and market-oriented reforms, and works with organizations all around the world in areas such as legal and regulatory reform, anti-corruption practices, enhancing democratic governance, promoting entrepreneurship education, and empowering women in business. After interviewing with the Knowledge Management team, I was offered an internship, and soon after accepted the position.

During my internship with CIPE, I worked with the Knowledge Management team on a variety of projects. I researched entrepreneurship pedagogy in American business schools and combined that research with projects that CIPE has undertaken in a variety of countries in order to create a blueprint for a new entrepreneurship education program to be set up in Bahrain. After finishing that project, I began to work on a new publication called Transitions 101, which is meant to help practitioners incorporate economic reforms within democratic transitions by studying a variety of case studies and formulating best practices. When not working on those projects, I also worked with several of the regional programs at CIPE, including the Asia program. Additionally, I was encouraged to write blog posts for the CIPE Development Blog, which not only allowed me to hone my writing skills, but also gave me an opportunity to get published with a reputable source.

My internship experience with CIPE also gave me the opportunity to connect with more SAIS alumni. During the course of my internship, I was able to meet two SAIS alumni who worked in the organization, and from their conversations not only learned a lot more about the work environment at CIPE and also about careers in international development.

I had a great experience with my fall internship at CIPE, and would encourage those who feel they have enough time to apply for internships while in D.C., although I would not recommend waiting as long as I did to apply!