Internship at FHI 360 (Lu JIAOLI)

The two-week internship at FHI360 in Washington, D.C. was short but fulfilling. As I look back on it, my mind is filled with uplifting memories. I made the right decision to have insisted on conducting this internship despite the fact that the original six-week plan was shortened to a limited two-week schedule.

FHI 360 is a nonprofit human development organization dedicated to improving lives in lasting ways by advancing integrated, locally driven solutions in such areas as health, education, nutrition, environment, economic development, civil society, gender equality, youth, research and technology, creating a unique mix of capabilities to address today’s interrelated development challenges. It serves more than 60 countries and all U.S. states and territories. The ultimate mission of FHI 360 appeals to me, as I seek for a career that contributes to other people’s happiness and helps to improve the livelihoods of the less fortunate. I was so impressed and motivated by the working environment and staff morale at FHI 360. Everyone I talked to told me that they love their work. Indeed, I admire their work at FHI 360 as well as their passion toward it.

During my internship, I had the chance to meet with staff from different sectors of FHI 360 such as education, health, environmental protection and economic growth, through which I gained an overall understanding of how they pull different things together to help improve lives all-round. I was glad that I could contribute to a number of ongoing projects, particularly mSTAR at Economic growth sector and IVLP for Chinese visitors.

Forums and events outside FHI 360 were also fantastic. I was impressed that Patrick managed to find those informational forums at well-known think-tanks for us to attend. “US Policy in the Middle East on Eve of Obama’s Trip” at Center for American Progress led me to rethink the role of US in the unresolved conflict between Israel and Palestine. “What should Obama do with North Korea?” at Center for Strategic and International Studies surprised me with the positive and supportive views that American specialists holds towards China’s impact on the North Korea issue. “Transport Beyond Oil: Policy Choices” at Carnegie Institute broadened my sight of future transportation. These meetings offered me great opportunities to associate with distinguished specialists in various areas.

Toward the end of my internship, I was invited to give a presentation on my master thesis research at Kobe University to a number of FHI 360 staff, which should be the highlight of my internship. My colleagues at FHI 360 were very supportive and said nice words about my presentation. I was touched and motivated as well to keep working smart on my research and make sure to produce one good piece of master thesis by July.

Apart from all the informational meetings and interactive assignments, I developed a good relationship with my supervisors and colleagues at FHI 360. Colin and Patrick provided me with tremendous support for not only my work but also my stay in the US in general. They were flexible with office time as long as I could manage to complete my assignments and participate actively in meetings. They also kindly offered me tips on travelling around D.C. and to New York City. I was so grateful to them. Friends from other teams, Rachel and Charlie from Education Policy Data Center (EPDC), Rebecca from General Office, Kate from Social Marketing and Communications, were all so supportive to me. It was so nice of them coming over to listen to my presentation and joining our closing lunch.

Indeed, I benefited a lot from this internship. The insights and motivation I gained through this experience will surely contribute to my study and research at GSICS. Above all, I would like to extend sincere thanks to my academic supervisor Prof. Ogawa, who recommended me to conduct internship at FHI 360 and offered continued support toward the accomplishment of my internship. I am determined to work even harder to deliver the best performance!

Duties and Responsibilities:

  1. Engage with staff throughout FHI 360 to learn about different sectors of the organization, including Education and Youth Development, Environmental Protection, Social Marketing and Communications, Health and Research, Economic Growth and Human Resource.
  2. Attend a number of debrief meetings to learn about the US government grants proposal process and contribute to discussions on how to standardize proposal archive.
  3. Assist with a number of ongoing FHI 360 projects, including mSTAR, IVLP for Chinese Visitors.
  4. Participate in a number of informational forums at well-known think-tanks around Washington D.C., focusing on issues of global scale, including events at Center for American Progress (CAP), Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), Carnegie Institute.
  5. Deliver a presentation on master thesis research at Kobe University to FHI 360 staff.