U.S. Department of Commerce, International Trade Administration
Spring 2011 Site ReviewPosition: International Trade Intern
Student: Government Senior
I spent a semester interning with the Department of Commerce under the U.S. Commercial Service, International Trade Administration. Interestingly, there are only two people affiliated with the USDOC International Trade Administration at the office. This is because they share an office with the Economic Development and Tourism team under the House of the Governor. In other words, everyone else in the office is a state employee.
I worked on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday, from 9AM to 4PM. Of course, I was allowed a lunch break. It is difficult to come up with a typical day for this internship, partly because my supervisor was not doing what he normally does. For the semester I was there, I mostly helped organize an international trade forum called ACCESS 2011. This forum hosted U.S. companies looking to export their product or service to the Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia. A lot of what I did revolved around recruiting companies to attend. Most of the marketing was done by emailing or calling contacts who had previously attended a conference or seminar/webinar hosted by the U.S. Commercial Service. I also developed a budget for the conference, which included hotel expenses, food for two days for 300 people, and revenue from sponsors and attendees. In addition, I worked on dozens of spreadsheets with all kinds of information about the conference and other events. Further, I spent time updating the International Trade Administration’s database, which contains the contact information for every international trade specialist’s clients in the world.
I also participated in countless other projects, from writing articles for newsletters to creating market reports for companies. My supervisors also presented me with plenty of opportunities to venture out of the office and attend events like business conferences and educational series. These were not only very informative, but were a great chance to network and reach out with employers.