According to my supervisor, the internship program at ACC is “decentralized.” I am the only intern in the Global Affairs Team, so I am assigned to many individual projects. Yet, without peers sitting next to my cubicle does not mean I am alone. Instead, everyone in the team is always there, reachable, and open to discussions whenever I have questions.
Because each co-worker can assign projects to the team, it has been challenging for the first couple of weeks. Time management is an essential skill, and I gradually learn to prioritize specific tasks by the degree of urgency. Since each co-worker leads their individual projects, I am lucky to be involved in different kinds of assignments.
One of my projects is conducting legal research related to the Toxic Substance Control Act (TSCA) and delivering memos as working products. The first research topic I worked on was providing legal analysis on two questions about Sec 4 of TSCA: (1) whether Sec 4 of TSCA provides authority to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to order testing on a consumer product, and (2) whether it is unconstitutional to require manufactory on testing when they have nothing to with the product. The second legal research was about Sec 5 of TSCA, which allows EPA to review new chemical substances before they are manufactured or imported. I was responsible for writing a short memo about the background history of the development of the polymer exemption statute. I found these questions challenging but super fun. Daily afternoon discussion with my supervisor about my progress generally deepens my understanding of the essence behind each issue.
Meanwhile, I noticed that coordinating different time zone and working with global partners can be challenging. I was asked to cover up a webinar held in London a week ago. The virtual event was held at 9 am in London, which means 4 am EST. I genuinely respect my co-workers’ professionalism and passion for their work because having conferences before dawn may be their day-to-day life.