A Busy Few Weeks at the DoS!

It’s been four weeks now since I started my internship with the Department of State. I really can’t believe the amount that I have experienced and gained since moving to DC for the summer. It feels like I’ve been here for only a week yet at the same time it feels like its been forever too. I didn’t mention in my previous post, but I am an intern with the Office of Conservation and Water within the Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs or OES/ECW for short. I’ve learnt pretty quickly how much people in DC love their acronyms (I’d recommend keeping an excel sheet handy if you ever plan on working here).

 Pictured: H.E. Santiago Cabanas, Ambassador of Spain to the United States

Pictured: H.E. Santiago Cabanas, Ambassador of Spain to the United States

Every day I go into work I am met with some sort of surprise whether that be homemade cupcakes that a coworker brought in or a spur-of-thPicturede-moment meeting with the most inspiring groups of people. A perk of being in my Office specifically is that I am surrounded by people working in all fields of conservation – wildlife trafficking, water, forests, genetic resources, and biodiversity. In one week, I typically sit in or work on something with them all. I also have events hosted not only by the State Department but other GOs and NGOs as well. The picture to the left is from an event I attended last week titled “Fair Water: A Human Rights and Gender Perspective.”  The conference, held by the Embassy of Spain and the Delegation of the European Union, gathered water-related experts to address the situation of the human right to safe drinking water and how gender affects that right. This is only one example of the many interesting events I’ve had the opportunity to attend. This coming week, in fact,  I will get to attend a conference at the Smithsonian Zoo! New Dino Exhibit!

It’s a huge switch to go from having two maybe three classes in a day to working a full 9am-5pm schedule. The oddest feeling is the realization that when you leave work, you don’t have hours of studying, assignments to complete, or exams to prepare for. The rest of the day really is just yours! With that time I’ve been able to explore much of the city and spend evenings out with fellow interns from all over DoS. Most memorable so far, other than being to the Smithsonian Museums a ton already, was the fact that I got to celebrate my first ever Pride while here in the city! If you happen to be in DC anytime soon I would also recommend the new and improved Dinosaur Exhibit at the National History Museum – they even have “living” dinosaurs (a person in a costume but use your imagination). Every day, regardless of the day of the week, is a new opportunity and I can’t wait to experience as many as I possibly can.

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