Cherie La Mere : Experience as a Thai-American Second Generation in Washington

I have had one of the best experiences I have ever encountered in my life, which was made possible by the Thai-American National Internship Program and The Royal Thai Embassy in cooperation with the US-Asia Institute. My time here in Washington D.C. has gained me numerous valuable skill sets both life-wise and work-wise. Not only did I get to learn so many things, but I also got to have fun! I have met many inspiring beings, and I was glad to have made valuable friendships.

From my first day, I was treated with warmth and kindness and the first week started off with daily trips to majestic monuments dotted throughout the city as well as to various government buildings where we met with and listened to a lot of impressive, talented speakers. They readily passed on invaluable practical tips we would later draw on during the weeks ahead in order to successfully navigate our individual job requirements and interpersonal interaction within the political context of Capitol Hill. Additionally, we were given time afterwards to talk with them on a personal, one-to-one basis and I was able to network with them and learn about future career opportunities.

Then, for a period of six weeks, I interned at the office of Rep. Scott Tipton of Colorado. The Congressman’s office staffers and interns were very helpful and friendly, and even the Congressman himself graciously took us to lunch in the Member of Congress’ dining hall. In general, my daily tasks included answering phones, logging information into the system, and taking notes at topically interesting meetings and briefings. Happily, they also allotted me various business-related assignments, as per my request, given my business emphasis at university. Perhaps one of the most exciting experiences at my job, however, was being able to assist in hosting the Congressman’s monthly telephone town hall, in which more than 4,000 people attended. Then, afterward, our Chief of Staff was kind enough to take all of the interns up to the Dome of the Capitol building where we could admiringly behold the best view of the city!

In just this last week, we were given the unique opportunity to intern at the Royal Thai Consulate. I enjoyed my four days at the consulate, with the guidance and training from the lovely staff there. Needless to say, they took exceptionally good care of us. I had the chance to observe the procedures for obtaining and approving visas, passports, and other legal documents. Despite my short internship at the Royal Thai Consulate, it was exceedingly valuable in so far as it afforded me an insight into the needs of the Thai community in the United States – something which is vital on our part as future leaders in our respective Thai communities.

Now, on the final day of my summer internship, I am very proud to say that I have learned so many things from this internship. Moreover, I can honestly say that I have spent every minute of it with joy. My experience here has proved invaluable to me and it has helped prepare me for my future career. I promised myself that I would take full advantage of every opportunity I could to learn something new during my time here, and I believe I have done just that. I will leave here eager to apply all the knowledge and skills I have acquired to the eventual benefit of the Thai community.

Cherie La Mere from Colorado

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