Rachel Chiu Headshot (2)

This spotlight focuses on Rachel Chiu, a student at Cornell University. She is interning this summer at the USDA’s Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights.

What are your main responsibilities at your position? What are you looking forward to the most in your position?

As an intern for the USDA’s Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, I primarily assist EEO Specialists in the Employment Investigations Division. My internship will be very exciting in the coming weeks– since the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights is selected by presidential appointment, the mantle is passed to another individual when a new president takes office. I am looking forward to helping my department prepare for this transition of leadership.

Did you find anything surprising about your internship or doing public service work?

I wasn’t expecting the employees on my floor to be so friendly and welcoming. Everyone I have met is willing to share their professional insights with me in a manner that is akin to a mentorship. It’s very inspiring.10978697 960583230666589 1194593645820769380 n CAPAL Intern Spotlight Rachel Chiu 16

How does this internship help you with your professional goals?/What do you want to get out of it?

This internship is providing me with invaluable, transferable skills. In particular, I am learning how to be an effective member of the workplace. (This is certainly not something that can be taught in the classroom.) Additionally, I am getting exposure to administrative and employment law.

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What motivates you?

I am motivated by many different factors. Fundamentally, I try to work with integrity and diligence simply because I see no other way to complete a task. Secondly, I am driven by the “dark” and “light”. The “dark” represents my failures; although I accept it as my past, I do not forget all that I have lost. The “light” represents the goodness of others and sacrifices that people have made for me to get to the unique position that I am in now. Truly, “we are all the descendants of someone who made our future the purpose of their lives”; I do not take that lightly.

11139796 10206557398838182 1899433475 n CAPAL Intern Spotlight Rachel Chiu 16What is something that most people would not know about you?

I love watching (NBA) basketball. Go Knicks!

When you get off work, what do you do? What are your weekend activities?

I usually go to the gym after work. On the weekend, I take a bus back to New York/New Jersey. Washington D.C. is wonderful, but family is even better.

What are you most excited to do in Washington D.C. (or wherever you are)?

I’m excited to learn how to use the metro! (A mundane goal, but a very realistic one.)

Rachel Chiu is an intern at the USDA’s Office of the Assistant Secretary of Civil Rights. At the USDA, Rachel assists the Chief of the Employment Investigations Division with EEO complaints. Aside from this role, she also serves as a North American Executive Board Member for Students For Liberty, an international nonprofit organization that focuses on educational and leadership programs. This past year, she served as a Republican Presidential Debate Panelist for the Fox News Channel. Rachel appeared on “The Kelly File” on three occasions to present the millennial perspective on 2016 election issues. She is currently a student at Cornell University studying Industrial & Labor Relations.

Meet all of our CAPAL Scholars & Interns here.


Posted by Felicia Wong

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Felicia Wong is currently a senior at the College of William and Mary, double majoring in Neuroscience and Asian American Studies, and minoring in Biochemistry. She is president of the Filipino American Student Association, and current non-academic projects include creating films calling for diversity curriculums/requirements and establishing an official APIA Studies program. Felicia was also elected president of Global Medical Brigades to lead a sustainable healthcare program in rural communities in Nicaragua. She hopes to connect her interests in healthcare with the community she has found in her cultural background. Having lived in Germany for most of her childhood, Felicia makes yearly trips back to visit her family, providing opportunities for her to indulge in her greatest joys: touring castles, eating at cafés, taking fashion cues from strangers, cooking with her family. Non-country specific pleasures include: biking, watching live music performances, screaming because Game of Thrones.