I feel privileged to have been able to work in Washington D.C. on international relations issues during this particular period in history. Years from now, I'll look back and say not only was I alive during the momentous revolutions of the Arab Spring, but I was in the nation's capital, following significant events as they happened, and writing about them on behalf of a national organization. Opportunities like that are rare, and looking back, I'm very glad I chose to intern fulltime for GlobalSolutions.org rather than part-time in a Congressperson's office.
Witnessing Congressional hearings was a new and interesting experience for me. I quickly learned that nothing really gets done in hearings, and all the real work is done behind the scenes. But the hearings were worthwhile nonetheless. I heard Hillary Clinton testify about the importance of international relations funding and another high-level state department official testify about Libya while U.S. planes were bombing Moammar Gaddafi's troops. Those two events as well as a plethora of others made the work I was doing tangible and that much more exciting.
I learned a lot during my time at CGS. I learned about the United Nations, the International Criminal Court, the Responsibility to Protect, and many more concepts vital to global politics. I also learned about the logistics and challenges of outreach for a nonprofit advocacy organization. I felt that working in the nonprofit advocacy world can be difficult, partly because victories on key issues cannot realistically be directly attributed to the organization.