USCET Interns

Meet our interns who have been with us throughout the years!

 

Giovanni Scarcella (George Washington University, 2015) 

 

What do you do at USCET?

In my intern position, I’m often tasked with projects to help organize the many events that USCET hosts throughout the year. In addition, I maintain the organization’s social media presence on Twitter and Facebook. 

How does this internship benefit you?

I’ve benefited from cultural exchange programs long enough that I feel I should provide similar opportunities to others. Interning at USCET will allow me to do just that, while also learning more about the process involved in a running a non-profit.

Why are you interested in US-China relations?

As a junior in high school I lived in Beijing for a month. I met so many wonderful people, many of whom, despite time and distance, have remained close friends ever since. I keep returning to China for a variety of reasons. I’m partly motivated by the admittedly utilitarian desire to improve my Mandarin. I treat these trips as a whetstone to sharpen language skills that deteriorate after periods of little use. In addition, I of course want to see old friends, often picking up right where we left off. The art, architecture, and landscapes there inspire a range of feelings from introspection to simple awe. But what motivates me most is a feeling that’s difficult to articulate. To someone that grew up in a neighborhood that was only a white picket-fence short of idyllic Americana, China may as well be a different planet. The inexorable gravitational pull of this world caught me in its orbit. To observe a different culture, to question the roots and implication of these differences, is a fulfilling exercise without ever really finding the exact answer.

Everything is political. And as complexities have manifested on a personal level, so too do they exist on a world stage. Even in light of the differences between the US and China, their relationship has become and will continue to stand as the world’s most important. Questions as tangible as trade agreements and as abstract, but no less real, as identity help to shape the dynamics of this bond. The challenges that arise in this multi-layered relationship are fascinating to me, and I hope to play some role in fostering mutual understanding between these two states. 

 

 

Di Cui (Harvard University, 2015)

How did you get involved with USCET?

Majoring in East Asian Studies, I have been immersed in topics related to US-China relations through coursework, previous internship experiences and my friends who I meet every day. In addition to my interests in comparative literature and public policy, I do believe that cultural exchanges and interactions between the U.S. and China in the field of higher education are playing an indispensable role in shaping US-China relations nowadays. Personally benefited greatly from study abroad programs and fellowships, I can perfectly identify myself with the mission of USCET and am happy to become part of it.  

What do you do at USCET?

I definitely believe that this internship is a great opportunity to familiarize myself with many different types of work. As one of the two interns in the office, I am responsible for managing Chinese social network postings of USCET, researching and translating, as well as some work with graphic design. I will also be helping with event planning, such as the USCET China trip this coming November.

How does this internship benefit you?

Coming in without previous experiences in non-profit, I found this experience particularly rewarding in terms of adapting into a new work routine and learning a lot more things that I have not worked on before. More importantly, not only in terms of expanding connections, I do think that one benefits the most from the people and the culture of an organization. Everyone here at USCET is warm and willing to help, which is absolutely a positive addition to this internship. 

 

 

 

Cheng (Carol) Zhang (The George Washington University, 2015)

How will USCET shape your immediate and long-term future?

I plan to pursue a Master’s degree in Asian Studies after graduating from college. My academic interest will be development policies in East Asia, and education policy is one of my fields of interest. In the future I decide go back to China and find a job either at NGO or Think Thank working for the country’s development. As one of the leading NGOs working on US-China educational exchange, USCET will help me fulfill my career objectives and deepen my knowledge of China’s changing environment for educational and social reform.

How does this internship benefit you?

This internship allows me to access plenty of information regarding US-China educational exchange, including various exchange programs for students and scholars. Through this opportunity, I am able to establish connections with experts on education and development both in the United States and China before I go back to my home country and contribute to its development.

Why are you interested in US-China relations?

As a Chinese student, I became interested in US-China relations the first time I arrived in the United States. After several years studying here, I have been aware of the importance of educational exchange for a young student to enrich his/her understanding on world affairs. Thanks to the more advanced educational system in America, I learn to look at US-China relations from different perspectives, and gradually find that it is necessary for both governments to enhance direct communication in order to eliminate misunderstandings among their people. I am happy to obtain the opportunity to work on the US-China educational exchange and communication with USCET.

 

 

 

Julia Ruane (University of Mary Washington, 2013)

What do you do at USCET?

One of the most exciting parts of being an intern at USCET is the chance to work on many different types of assignments depending on my interests. So far, I have been involved with speech writing research and have helped with event planning for the upcoming Chinese New Year.

How does this internship benefit you?

This internship is an amazing opportunity to get hands-on experience, not only with US-China relations and international education, but also non-profit management. It has been a rewarding experience to support such a wide variety of engaging projects that challenge me in each of these areas.

Why are you interested in US-China relations?

My interest in China was sparked by my study of Mandarin in combination with my love of travel. After studying abroad in Beijing, I realized how much I had to reevaluate my preconceptions of China and I was incredibly interested in learning more about the country. US-China relations are an enormously significant aspect of today’s world. 

 

 

Ozzie Chung (American University, 2015)

How did you get involved with USCET?

As an Asian American, I have always kept a peripheral interest on current events in East Asia, but it wasn’t until my sophomore year of college that I really began pursuing an internationally-focused career. Through my university’s career web service, I discovered USCET and found their mission to be both unique and substantive. USCET’s work with universities in China fit perfectly with my interests in higher education and international relations, and as a smaller nonprofit organization I knew interns would be able to contribute significantly more than at a larger workplace.

What kind of work do you do at USCET?

As one of two interns in a small yet productive office, I am never out of work to do. My work mainly revolves around short-term research assignments and data collecting.  The daily routine never gets dull – I have also worked on interesting side projects, such as taking meeting notes at an Advisory Council meeting, planning for alumni engagement, and learning some grant writing techniques. Currently, I am researching Fredrick Chien, Taiwan’s Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1990-1996, to write his biography and prepare materials for a lecture he’s giving in the fall.

How has your experience at USCET shaped your immediate and long-term future?

Since I recently changed my major, this is the first internship I’ve had involving US-China relations. This internship has reinforced my desire to pursue a career in international relations, whether it is in the public, private or nonprofit sector. Most importantly, the knowledge and practical skills I have gained from this internship are incredibly useful for my future.   With my work at USCET, I have gained much perspective about my ideal working environment and career focus upon graduation. I hope to use the experiences and connections gained from working at USCET to better promote US-China relations. 

 

Cecilia Miao (University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2013)

How did you get involved?

I am a senior majoring in political science and journalism at University of Wisconsin-Madison and this summer I wanted to gain work experience in Washington D.C. related to US-China relations. I found out about USCET on Idealist.org. After reading through the internship description and what USCET does, I knew my past experience and skills in design and communications, combined with my interest in US-China relations, made this the perfect position for me.

What kind of work do you do at USCET?

I am responsible for design and communications in the office. My daily tasks include monitoring news and coordinating social media postings, and drafting and designing marketing materials and reports. I have also done research on US-China education exchange programs, and I will be working on interviewing recipients of USCET's China Opportunity Scholarships.

How does this internship benefit you?

I have learned a lot about how non-profit organizations operate in Washington D.C. Jodie is a very generous coworker and is always willing to tell me and Ozzie how we can improve on our work and how non-profits work generally. We are also allowed to attend events relevant to our academic interests, which allowed us to network with other interns or professionals in the field. By working on a variety of tasks in this internship, I am more certain about my passion in building a career in this field.