Would I have ever imagined myself shaking President Bush's hand? As an intern at the U.S. Embassy in Korea, I was lucky enough to be invited to meet President Bush when he visited the embassy prior to his trip to the Beijing Olympics.
The U.S. Embassy in Seoul is a dynamic place. Recently, we had farewell and welcome receptions for the former Ambassador Alexander Vershbow and the new Ambassador Kathleen Stephens. An internship at U.S. Commercial Service Korea provided me with opportunities to meet an abundance of people and have some incredible experiences.
The U.S. Commercial Service in Korea is the commercial section of the embassy. The Commercial Service is a network of U.S. Department of Commerce offices located in more than 120 cities in 80 countries. There are also over 100 locations in the United States including the U.S. Export Assistance Center in Atlanta (http://www.buyusa.gov/georgia/). Our mission is to help U.S. companies, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises, export goods and services to Korea.
The best part of the six-month internship was that American Diplomatic Officers and Korean Commercial Specialists respect and value the work of the interns. We participated in business meetings and learned about current trade issues. The U.S. Commercial Service functions as a link between private and public businesses, so I had an opportunity to learn about both sectors. Each intern worked closely with one commercial specialist. I worked for a commercial specialist who is an expert on the medical and pharmaceutical industry in Korea.
An internship experience at a U.S. Department of Commerce “branch office” will make you a very attractive job candidate because it shows you have had international experience in the real business world outside the United States. If you want to utilize your business major in an international environment, the U.S. Commercial Service should be the first item on your internship target list.
Here is how you apply for an internship with the U.S. Commercial Service in Korea: http://www.buyusa.gov/korea/en/internship.html
Hagyong Lee, BBA10