MPP student Rachelle Mehdi explains her summer internship experience at the U.S. Executive Director’s Office at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, which took place abroad.
Rachelle Mehdi: My name is Rachelle Mehdi, I’m a second year MPP student at the Ford School, and I did my internship over the summer at the U.S. Executive Director’s office at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.
At first, I was not even looking at partnerships; I was trying to do my own thing, I had a very specific location in mind. Then, one day at GCS, Jennifer Niggemeier came in passing and told me not to self-select myself out.
I arrived one week before the new executive director arrived and so even though I was an intern and was only there for one week, she looked to me to guide her in, so I got a lot of responsibility very quickly reviewing incoming project documents that the board of directors would vote on, making comments on things that the Executive Director could bring up during board meetings, and writing talking points for her, as well as reviewing the projects in line with U.S. mandate for the bank.
I think what was most interesting for me besides just being in a new space was seeing how similar and different U.S. norms and customs were to customs in the U.K.
Before getting to the Ford School, my experience professionally involved traditional diplomacy through the U.S. State Department. The work was similar to what I had done previously, and I realized I would prefer to be more in the field than in the headquarters for such institutions, but I didn’t know that until I actually experienced it.