Intern Spotlight – Angeli Patel (Summer 2014)

Angeli PatelAngeli Patel is a fourth year INTA major from Dublin, GA. After she graduates in spring 2014, she plans to intern in Washington, DC before returning to the Nunn School for her graduate degree. An active member of our student population, Angeli is involved with GT Ambassadors, Omicron Delta Kappa Leadership Honor Society, the Rethink Disabilities Awareness campaign, and is also a Housing Resident Advisor. She has held a number of internships while a student, and in fall 2012 Angeli interned with the Department of Commerce, International Trade Administration. We asked her a few questions about how her time at Tech helped her succeed in her internship.

What do/did you enjoy most about your internship and what did you find most challenging?

Interning with the International Trade Administration was very spontaneous. Each day was different. While I had my assigned tasks as an intern, I rarely found myself sitting at the desk actually doing them. I was frequently invited to meetings and events. I focused particularly on the Eastern Europe and Central Asia regions of trade and this internship definitely increased my familiarity with the regions. The challenging part was thinking on my feet. This included knowing the current political status of a particular country in the region or providing a brief summary of a company’s objectives in a certain project. I worked under a presidential appointee and I constantly felt the pressure of putting forth my best. While this was challenging, I found it stimulating and beneficial in the long run.

Tell us about an experience that made an impression on you during your internship.

My boss was in charge of negotiating a deal with the Dominican Republic’s Vice President regarding a large government procurement. A part of this required a written memo that gave the Secretary of Commerce talking points and an overview of the project. Everything was running close to the deadline, and given the hectic nature of the department during election season, my boss asked me to help her draft the memo. The next week, she told me that my memo was approved by all the bureaus involved and that the Secretary of Commerce had used it during negotiations. Two days after that, we received good news that the Dominican government accepted our deal!

In what ways did your time at Tech prepare you for the internship?

I participated in Dr. Vicki Birchfield’s European Union Study Abroad program the summer prior to my internship. This program not only provided me with working knowledge of the EU but also significantly polished my otherwise non-existent professional skills. I was placed in the Eastern Europe region at the International Trade Administration because of what I’d learned in the study abroad program. Coming from a technology school is also beneficial. I was often assigned to projects that dealt with defense contracts and technology implementation projects because none of the other interns had working knowledge of technology policy.

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