Life in the foreign service is fast paced, and most days do not end up looking the same. One day you may be socializing with local business owners at a fancy catered affair, and the next, you are sitting in a tent interviewing refugees about their stories. Each day is unique, and that is part of the thrill of the job. You never know what project you'll be working on next, where you'll go visit, or who you'll meet along the way. In that sense, it is certainly not the typical government desk job.
That being said, here are some things I did on a regular basis:
- News monitoring: One of the big aspects of my job was monitoring the news for important political and economic issues in the Consulate's region. In Hamburg, we covered five German states: Hamburg, Bremen, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Schleswig-Holstein and Niedersachsen. So, to make sure we were up to date and well-versed in the issues taking place in these states, we constantly read all of the local and regional newspapers.
- Speechwriting: During my internship, I also spent a significant amount of time writing speeches for the consul general. Part of the consul general's job was to attend different events around our region, and oftentimes, say a few words at each event to recognize and congratulate the hosts on their achievements. During my 10-week internship, I wrote many of these speeches, which was a fun experience.
- Interviewing: Another big part of my internship was conducting interviews with local officials and agencies. In particular, I conducted interviews about 300 Libyan refugees who came to Hamburg after the country's civil war in 2011 and met with the refugees themselves, the attorneys representing the refugees as well as local non-profit employees who were assisting the refugees.
- Researching: I also spent a significant amount of time researching asylum and refugee law, especially as it would apply to the Libyan refugees in Hamburg. To do this, I researched international and German refugee and asylum law, and analyzed these laws to determine the likely legal status of the Libyan refugees.