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Washington DC, The Political Engine of the Nation

June 12, 2013

Marisa RafskyMarisa Rafsky graduated Magna Cum Laude along with an International Baccalaureate Diploma from Bodine High School for International Affairs and is now a rising sophomore at Bryn Mawr College. She plans to pursue a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and then a Master’s degree in International Security, specializing in counter-terrorism. A 2011 trip to Israel inspired Marisa to consider the impact of terrorism and security issues on the challenges of poverty. She is interested in improving bilateral relations between the US and foreign governments in order to solve international security concerns. Marisa aspires to become a U.S. Foreign Service Officer, serving the interests of the United States nationally and abroad. She also is interested in furthering Jewish and Latino communities in the US and elsewhere. Marisa is completing her USICD Youth in International Development and Foreign Affairs internship at Winrock International, which works with people in the United States and around the world to empower the disadvantaged, increase economic opportunity, and sustain natural resources.

As a city girl who loves the city and international affairs, spending my first summer away from college in Washington DC, the political engine of the nation, was a dream come true. I came to DC to gain real-world experience in the field of international affairs and development. During my first week in Washington, I had the opportunity to meet other interns in my cohort and interact with USCID staff and participate in a week-long orientation.

I finished my first week as New Business & Communications Unit intern at Winrock International. It’s only been a week and already I have projects lined up and have been to a few meetings with staff across units. When I first sat down with my task supervisor I was pleasantly surprised at how eager she was to get me started on projects. Currently, I’m updating an indicator database which contains information on various development projects in areas of the world. My task supervisor also requested I help read resumes for our business proposal team and research on various issues relating to my two core areas of interest: Empowerment & Civic Engagement and Democracy & Governance. Based on what I’ve experienced in the past couple days, I can tell that my internship experience at Winrock will be a very educational one and relevant to my future goals.

This evening I had the chance to meet with my mentor, a fellow Seven Sister (A Smith College graduate) for a coffee date. We discussed living in DC, international affairs work, and talked about our experiences at Smith and Bryn Mawr, respectively. She told me of a Seven Sisters Alumnae networking group in DC and invited me to come along with her the next time there was an event. I had my first opportunity to present my new business card at the end of our meeting.

The rest of my week will be packed with meetings. I have my first USAID meeting tomorrow and a USCID event on Thursday and I need to prepare for them, so I will stop writing for now. Until next time!

Connect with (Shana) Marisa Rafsky via her LinkedIn profile at: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/shana-marisa-rafsky/70/a51/231

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