We cannot believe it’s already the beginning of August — where did summer go?
Many of our students are busy this summer pursuing summer internships. One of the options available for students is the Rosenthal Fellowship; The Rosenthal Fellowship is a prestigious program that offers our country’s most outstanding and civic-minded graduate students in international affairs the opportunity to spend a summer working to solve some of our biggest national and global challenges. We had the opportunity to chat with two Rosenthal Fellows to learn more about their incredible summer internship experiences before they return back to campus for the fall semester.
My name is Nate Levin (he/him) and I am pursuing a Master’s of Public Administration. My concentration is Energy and Environmental Policy, and my specialization is Technology, Media, and Communications. I plan to graduate in May 2023.
I am currently interning as a Rosenthal Fellow in International Relations at the United States Department of the Treasury, International Affairs, in the Office of Multilateral Development Banks. The internship has been hybrid, split between Washington, D.C., and remote from New York City.
The Office of Multilateral Development Banks leads the Biden Administration’s engagement in the multilateral development banks (MDBs), which include the World Bank, Inter-American Development Bank, Asian Development Bank, the African Development Bank, and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. My projects have included executing research on global climate investments to maximize impact and drafting memorandums to approve 10-figure development bank budgets to support investment in climate finance.
My favorite aspect of the internship has been to contribute my efforts as a public servant, and to get exposed to the inner workings of the federal government. Treasury itself is huge (80,000 employees), and is part of a much broader, interconnected network. To witness first-hand the collaboration across agencies and the Biden Administration has illuminated the role agencies play in forming policy.
For students looking for internships, it is critical to stay motivated and to keep an open mind. For me, obtaining the Rosenthal Fellowship in International Relations opened many doors both in the Treasury and more broadly in the federal government. 12 months ago, working at the Treasury was not on my radar, but the experience afforded me has been insightful, powerful, and worthwhile.
My name is Amira Mandwee (she/her/hers), and I’m a second-year MIA student at SIPA graduating in May 2023. I’m concentrating in Human Rights and Humanitarian Policy and specializing in International Conflict Resolution and the Middle East Region.
My current internship, as part of the Rosenthal Fellowship, is at the Department of Treasury’s Office of Development Results and Accountability under the Office of International Affairs. The office is located in Washington, D.C., but I’ve been working remotely between NYC and my home in Detroit, Michigan.
I’ve been working as a Loan Review Analyst. In this position, I analyze international development projects and review strategies, policies, and evaluations from various Multilateral Development Banks. I also evaluate funding proposals at early and later stages to mitigate potential environmental and social risks that determine whether the U.S. government should support these projects or not.
My favorite experience with my internship is the opportunity I have to learn something completely new! Before working at the Treasury Department, my background was mainly with human rights and policy development. I was interested in learning more about economic development, and this internship was the perfect way to gain experience in that sector. Projects I’ve supported spanned areas such as infrastructure financing, education, health, public financial management, and supporting vulnerable communities and emerging countries. It feels so rewarding to support issues that I care about while learning how to approach them through a brand new sector.
My advice for incoming students would be to definitely take advantage of Columbia’s resources, especially the Career Advancement Center (CAC)! They understand that many students are experiencing the challenge of finding internships and are more than willing to help if you’re interested in branching out or trying something new. When I applied for internships, CAC looked at my resume and cover letter and offered personal feedback to help me submit the best application possible. I’ve also met one-on-one with advisors who helped me narrow down my interests and create an action plan for my time at SIPA and beyond.