Justin Rose is a rising junior at American University pursuing a dual degree in Economics and International Relations. This summer, he is interning for the U.S. Department of State’s Office of the Chief Economist.
What major projects are you working on in your internship? What responsibilities are you most excited about and why?
The several projects I’ve been working on so far have revolved around two main areas. The first is analyzing tariff data in order to find the costs to U.S. industries from pulling out of the TPP, as well as the potential costs of the RCEP would have on U.S. industries. The second is focused on the potential costs and benefits of either pulling out of or remaining in the Paris Agreement has on U.S. industries. Most of the work I’m doing in the Office of the Chief Economist at State is essentially research assistant work: finding datasets, cleaning datasets, creating graphs and charts, and helping to write analysis of said data to be used as policy suggestions. Being able to do quantitative analysis work on such relevant and hot topics is exciting, as it gives more purpose to the work I’m doing. My office is comprised of 3 PhD Economists and 2 Foreign Service Officers. Interning in such a small office has me constantly working with both the Chief Economist and the Deputy Chief Economist. Being able to work with people that in any other office or department would be too high up to interact with is an amazing opportunity for both experiencing the inner workings of the State Department, and to widen my own knowledge by working directly underneath them.
When did you realize you wanted to explore public service?
My original goal when I first came to college was to work for the State Department as a Foreign Service Officer. Why? Because in my mind it sounded really cool to work for the Federal Government: “Where do you work? Oh I work for the State Department and do super cool foreign policy stuff.” It would sound even cooler if you were a Foreign Service Officer, living in multiple countries every couple years while representing the United States abroad. As I went through my first year at American and eventually landed my internship at the State Department however, I began to further realize how set I was on one day working here. I am in awe at being surrounded by so many people dedicated to improving our country who not only are ridiculously talented, but also are widely respected in their own areas of expertise. Interning here at State and seeing how the work done effects not only communities, but the world itself has made me realize the importance of the work done here, and how much I want to stay involved and committed.
What are your plans/ goals after this internship? Are there any goals you want to accomplish this summer?
I had two goals when I first came to American University: study abroad at the London School of Economics, and intern for the State Department. After this internship, I’m heading off to LSE and while there, I hope to not only gain greater economic knowledge, but to hopefully fall under the mentorship and advice of LSE professors while there. With both of my goals achieved, the next logical step would be to figure out what I want to achieve after graduating. Post-undergrad, I want to get a job either working with the Federal Government or at a think tank as an Economic Research Assistant. Eventually I’d like to get a Masters relating to either Economics or International Economics, and maybe pursue PhD. However, for the rest of this summer, I’d like to be able to narrow down what it is that I want to focus my work and passion on: either international trade, environmental issues, or issues relevant to East Asia. The couple personal goals I have this summer are to cut down the backlog of books I have as well, and save up enough money to take a nice trip while in Europe next year.
What are you looking forward to in DC / where your internship is located?
Since I already go to school in the area at American University, having the burden of constantly studying gone gives me plenty of time to finally explore DC. Whether it’s going to Annandale for Korean BBQ, visiting Great Falls Park for a day trip, listening to Jazz in the Park on Fridays, or just hanging out at the Georgetown Waterfront, I’ve come to realize the only reason I’m ever bored in DC is because I’m too lazy to find something new to try. Interning at the State Department as someone passionate about foreign policy is a dream come true. There’s no better place on Earth to be for foreign policy and international affairs.
What do you do for fun?
Along with my full-time internship, I also have a part time job—couple those with CAPAL activities and there isn’t much free time lefin the week. However, I try to make the most out of the time I have by getting out and exploring the DC area. So far hiking the Great Falls Park trails has been a favorite of mine, as well as going to Class 520 in Bethesda for boba. Living in an apartment has been great for cooking new things, and I just picked up a Nintendo 64, which has been a great throwback to play with friends. If I were back home in Wisconsin around this time, I would be either out fishing, shooting my bow, relaxing by a bonfire, or inside on a hot day binge watching Game of Thrones.
What has been the most interesting/ meaningful thing you’ve learned from CAPAL’s Washington Leadership Program so far? Why?
Growing up in a semi-rural area in Wisconsin, I wasn’t really exposed to the AANHPI community until I came to DC for college. So far, my favorite CAPAL WLP has been the “Know History, Know Self” seminar, simply because I am for the most part disconnected and unknowledgeable about the AANHPI community’s history. Learning about the history of Asian Americans has helped to further define my identity as an Asian American.
Meet all of our CAPAL Scholars & Interns here.
Posted by Nattacha Munakata
Nattacha Munakata is currently a rising sophomore at George Mason University, studying Community Health with a concentration in Clinical Science (Pre-med). On campus, she is Peer Health Advisor, working to raise awareness and educate students on health issues. She is also involved in TEDxGMU and Thai Student Association. Outside, she likes to volunteer for local organizations and events, such as the DC Sakura matsuri and her local FIRST robotics team. During her free time, she likes to watch Netflix dramas and explore new music.