My internship with the Bureau of Consular Affairs

Name: Luis Miguel Calvo    

Major: International Business

Where are you interning? U.S. Department of State

What is your title? Intern in the Bureau of Consular Affairs, which formulates and implements policy relating to immigration and consular services.

How did you get your internship? I attended one of the on-campus workshops on how to get an internship at the Department of State led by Catherine Rodriguez, the diplomat in residence for South Florida.

What projects have you worked on? I have developed content on leadership and management for the bureau’s blog. I have helped in the redesign of my department’s website and many more projects.

How does your internship connect to your current coursework? Not very much, but that is the beauty of it; I study business but minor in international relations, so this internship was all about learning more about international relations for me.  

What was the coolest thing that has happened thus far in your internship? It would certainly have to be when I attended a town hall meeting with the deputy secretary of state.

What do you enjoy most about your experience? I have enjoyed every minute of it. I have learned so much about the department and about international affairs. Every day that I walk in the building feels like a dream come true.

What have you learned about yourself? I have learned that I enjoy working in the environment of international affairs, and that I would like to continue down this path. I also discovered that I can function on little sleep. This summer, I did the State Department internship in conjunction with a fellowship that provided me with six credits worth of classes at George Mason University, including many guest lectures, site briefings and the mentorship of a past U.S ambassador.

How has the position increased your professional confidence? It has improved significantly. I never thought I was a good presenter until I gave a presentation in front of my whole office and everybody was impressed at how well I performed.

How have you expanded your professional network? I have talked to a lot of people in the building and in many of the site briefings I attended. I think I am leaving D.C with a little pack of business cards!

What advice do you have for those beginning the internship process? Do not be afraid to ask questions. Supervisors don’t expect you to know everything off the top of your head. The whole reason for the internship is for you to learn, and asking smart questions shows them you are interested in learning.