I just returned from DC to NYC and from a great summer at the Department of the U.S. Treasury. Working as an International Economist Graduate Intern in the Office of South and Southeast Asia was a great opportunity to work with intelligent and smart professionals. My previous professional experience has been in the private sector and therefore gaining the understanding of how the government works was a valuable experience. The Treasury is the official source for the White House to receive advice on domestic and international economics, finance and budget related issues.
It is great to know that my analysis of macroeconomic trends, briefings about financial markets, country and systemic risks in South and Southeast Asia supported senior officials with policy making for the United States at home and abroad. I was assisting the desk economists of India, Indonesia and Myanmar. It was a very busy summer, especially after the Fed’s announcement of potential “tapering”. The markets experienced a great sell off and funds outflow from the emerging and frontier markets in the South and Southeast Asia. Specifically, India and Indonesia suffered a great weakening of their currencies, a widening of the BOP deficit, and a slow-down in the growth rate. These market movements required our office to determine the overall risk of these affected countries to the world economy in general and to the United States in specific. The active markets helped me to get involved in many great projects with quick turn-around times and therefore get lots of valuable hands on experience.
One of the highlights was that we got to meet and take a group picture with Treasury Secretary, Jacob Lew. During an internal event we also had the chance to see the Fed Chairman, Ben Bernanke and U.S. Vice President Joe Biden. I highly recommend the U.S. Treasury as a place to do a summer internship and get practical experience to contribute to significant and meaningful work. Best of all is that this internship confirmed my interest to pursue a career in country/sovereign risk analysis. Still left to determine is if it will be the private or the public sector.
DC was also a great city to explorer after work and over the weekends. Happy hours and cultural events are very popular and a great way to connect with other interns and Washingtonians. DC is different than NYC and therefore great to spend some time there. I enjoyed the city a lot and made many great new friends as well as deepened my network with existing SIPA colleagues and Alumni, who also got to spend the summer in our capital.
Andreas Maerki is a MPA degree candidate who joined us this spring as a J-termer and will graduate in 2014. He is concentrating in International Finance and Economic Policy (IFEP) at SIPA.