I conducted a 6-week overseas internship at FHI 360 Office in Washington DC, USA from February 8th to March 18th, 2016. FHI 360 is a nonprofit human development organization dedicated to improving lives in sustainable and measurable ways from 360°response, 360°partnership and 360°evidence approaches.During the internship, I initiated work with the Haiti Project Team, and took advantage of internal and external presentations as well as some informal conversations. I will conclude my internship achievements from three aspects with the details stated as follows:

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Work Assignments
FHI 360 focuses on early grade reading and writing (EGR/W) sector of the Let’s Learn to Read and Write (Ann ALE) Project in Haiti. The project team supports Haitian solutions — rooted in the country’s arts, culture and social resilience to address multiple factors that hinder children’s ability to read and to create a durable, enabling EGR/W environment. I worked with the Haiti Project Team guided by Brian Dooley, a Technical Officer, to learn more about the dataset from the baseline study and help to organize data by using STATA to design the approach to data analysis and to test how well various groups of questions measure the same idea through a measuring method called “inter-item correlation”. In addition, I was permitted to read some technical proposals and action plans for several projects in some countries such as Afghanistan, Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan, Equatorial Guinea and Haiti, which helped me learn how to initiate, implement, trace and evaluate a project under the introduction of my supervisor, Dr. Mark Ginsburg and discussions with other project team colleagues.

Presentations and Events Attendance
Washington D.C. is known as the “Most Educated City” in the United States because of its share of residents with advanced degrees. Many intelligences work for the federal government as well as for the think tanks and other nongovernmental organizations that form the heart of the capital’s working culture. A variety of presentations and events are hosted by different institutes and organizations throughout the year. With the recommendations from my supervisor and GL Dept. staff, I took full advantage of various internal and external events on international development – across sectors and disciplines, such as “the Global Economy and Development Program” at Brookings Institution, “OECD’s New Report on Supporting Teacher Professionalism” at Alliance for Excellent Education, and “Market Failures and Community Management in Education” at the World Bank. Meanwhile, in the occasion of CIES 2016 Conference, I had chances to attend many mock presentations delivered by GL Dept. colleagues within FHI 360. In addition, I went to the University of Maryland with my supervisor to attend an education seminar. Based on my knowledge learned at GSICS, I exchanged my thoughts on specific topics and had a thorough discussion with their masters and Ph.Ds. In general, I gained numerous benefits by attending those kinds of presentations, events and seminars, including gaining expert knowledge, improving communication skills, networking, renewing my motivation and confidence, and so on.

Primary Beneficiaries
IMG_2296Although it ended in a short time, I gained and learned lots of valuable practical experience and knowledge on applying methods and theories learned from classes through this internship. With this experience, I acquainted myself with a field that I was looking to learn about. This is a unique opportunity that I may never have again. I learned my strengths and weaknesses, and how to improve my capacities involved in the area of International Education Development by receiving feedbacks from my supervisor. Additionally, as a student intern, I was surrounded by professionals in the industry that I was looking forward to accessing to all the time. Therefore, this is an extremely good chance to build up and enlarge career network with professionals in the relative field by learning from everyone around me and impress them with my eagerness.

Acknowledgement
I would like to express my sincere gratefulness to my academic advisor, Professor Keiichi Ogawa, for giving me this great opportunity to carry out my internship and encouraging me to seize any opportunities to develop my own unique individual career development. It gives my immense pleasure to thank my supervisor, Dr. Mark Ginsburg and my dear colleagues in GLG, for their continuous support and invaluable advice throughout the whole period of this program. I also would like to thank Dr. Mari Shojo, the Educational Specialist of World Bank Headquarters for providing me with full support on living arrangements. Last but not the least; I am very thankful to all the staffs of the Academic Affairs Office of GSICS for their application support and overseas safety management assistance.

Xiaodong MENG
Master Student


Category: Internships