Job Title & Organization: Special Assistant to the Chief Operating Officer, Export-Import Bank of the United States
Why I Do What I Do: The mission of the Export-Import Bank is to create and sustain U.S. jobs through exports. I am proud to work for a government agency that is self-sustaining (i.e. does not require any taxpayer support) and that measures success not by profit but by the number of American jobs supported with each transaction.
Last Good Book Read: King Leopold’s Ghost by Adam Hochschild
Last Good Movie Seen: The Hurt Locker
Latest Personal or Professional Accomplishment: I managed the vetting process and approval of new members to an Export-Import Bank advisory committee that focuses on export promotion to sub-Saharan Africa.
Favorite Quote: "Well, I like to eat, sleep, drink, and be in love. I like to work, read, learn, and understand life.”
From Theme for English B, Langston Hughes
What was your motivation for participating in WAIP? As a political science and international studies double major, I wanted to complement my studies with real-world experience in the field.
What is your favorite WAIP memory? Speaking with Senator and Mrs. Glenn at the end-of-the-quarter party at the Cosmos Club.
Briefly describe your career path and how you ended up where you are today? My first “real” job was an undergraduate internship at the U.S. Consulate General in British Columbia, where I completed a 10-week internship working with the political/economic officer and the Consul General. I also worked full-time during my senior year of college as the website manager and then as a customer relationship management coordinator at Express (then owned by Limited Brands, Inc). Upon graduation, I moved to Washington, D.C. and began working as an international trade researcher for the Embassy of the Republic of Korea, which was negotiating a free trade agreement (FTA) with the United States at the time. I started at the Export-Import Bank in March 2008 as a Management Information Assistant in the Policy & Planning Division and in April 2009 became a Program and Management Analyst. Beginning in October 2009, I became the Special Assistant to the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the Bank, working primarily on Sub-Saharan Africa initiatives and interagency projects, and providing senior management staff support.
Knowing what you know now, what advice would you give to current and future WAIP participants? However tedious it may seem, networking is essential to hearing about a job opening before it’s posted, having people vouch for you before and after you have a job interview, and developing contacts in your field that can help your career in the future. Along with the basics like hand-written thank you notes and being on time to informational meetings and interviews (always bring an extra copy of your resume!), make sure to stay in contact with people regardless so they think of you the next time an exciting opportunity comes about.
What is the most valuable thing you took away from your WAIP experience? A greater confidence to speak on policy issues and a greater sense of duty to public service.
What would your WAIP classmates be most surprised to know about you now? Not only did I move to D.C. immediately after graduation, but I’ve recently discovered that another WAIP classmate lives one building over from me in Adams Morgan.