Looking Back

So like a flash, it’s all over. It seems like only yesterday that Amanda and I sat in the lobby, ready to begin our first days at NCSC. Now, 10 weeks later, I find myself looking back on my experience. Just the other day Tim and I had lunch and discussed my thoughts on the summer, and how it compared to my expectations. As I told him then, in many ways this summer exceeded my expectations. Yet I think it’s hard to say what my expectations really were. I had never had a legal internship before, so I knew much of the experience would be new and both challenging and exciting. 

Yesterday I updated my final assignment status report, and it was amazing to see all of the diverse work that I had done over the summer. I researched and advised on an employment issue and also helped redraft and hybridize employee policies and procedures. I researched and wrote a memorandum on voir dire practices. I wrote a draft success story for our Serbia program. I incorporated flow down clauses from our USAID prime contract for our Bangladesh program to the subgrant agreements, and amended those agreements for each specific subgrantee.  I wrote an extensive memorandum and gave a  presentation on direct foreign government contracting, specifically looking at the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, foreign anti-corruption laws, and foreign procurement laws. I researched and advised on the USAID contractor salary threshold. I helped prep for the visit of a delegation of three Brazilian judges. I helped collect sources and information for the class our Vice President is teaching in Israel. I updated, revised, and detailed discrepancies for the Level of Effort reporting for our Serbia program. I helped revise our pro forma prime contracts for foreign government contracting so that they mirrored our best practice subcontract. I did various research for and helped edit our proposal for a project in the Caribbean. And finally, I created PowerPoint slides and helped present during numerous “learning sessions” on various legal and international rule of law issues. Needless to say, as a result of these varied assignments, I developed a vast range of skills and received valuable experience. I doubt I could have gotten this type of experience many other places. 

My summer internship experience wasn’t just me sitting in my office all day working, however (although I did do that a lot). An important part of my experience were the relationships  I created with the people I worked with. This starts with the excellent NCSC International staff. As a whole, the staff was extraordinarily welcoming and helpful throughout the summer. Whenever I was given an assignment, the staff was always open to offer help or guidance. And while our department was small, it was also definitely beneficial to have Amanda as a fellow intern for most of the summer. While we had many individual assignments, we were also given various joint assignments. These assignments allowed us to work as a team, and granted me some fresh perspective by seeing how someone else approached and executed the assignments. Even on individual assignments, we could bounce ideas off each other, which often resulted in better end products. Finally, Tim was an excellent boss. Always going out of his way to offer mentorship, he was flexible and communicative with us throughout the summer. 

Then of course there was the opportunity to live and work in the Washington D.C. area. As you can probably deduce from some of my previous posts, I’ve fallen in love with this city during the time I’ve spent here. In many ways the city is completely unique compared to other American cities where I have visited and spent time. As the Capitol of our nation, Washington D.C. offers an environment of power and influence, American history combined with international relevance, deep-seeded competition balanced with the desire to enjoy life. While here I visited memorials to some of our greatest presidents, as well as the men and women of the armed forces that have done so much to preserve our great nation. I visited and toured the Supreme Court. I sat next to the Capitol while watching fireworks explode over the Washington Monument in a celebration of patriotism on our independence day. I walked past a plethora of impressive buildings, where the people inside were doing even more impressive work. I visited many of Washington’s neighborhoods and experienced their food, culture, and nightlife, including of course Arlington (home of NCSC International – and yes I realize it’s not a neighborhood of Washington but rather a city of its own). I spoke with a native Washingtonian cab-driver about his perspective on this city. While I feel like I’ve had a full and rewarding experience, I also understand that I’ve only scratched the surface.

So as I close out my last post, I say thank you to NCSC International for granting me this amazing opportunity filled with memories and valuable experiences.