As any new internship or job starts, your first few days are nice and easy, getting to know the staff, learning about the company, and dipping your toes in the water of your new job. Not for me! I got to dive head first into a handful of projects before the end of my first day. After the typical HR, supervisor, and basic intro meetings, I was quickly assigned tasks from quite a few different people. I am hired to work on the Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders Initiative, but more specifically our Summit. The Summit is at the end of July, and consists of 5 days of bringing all 500 fellows, plus University reps, members of Congress and hundreds of other important people in and around DC to the Omni Hotel and Resort where countless lectures, interviews, and information sessions will be held. (Including discussions from both the President and the First Lady!) To start out, I was arranging the Arrival to Summit and Departure after Summit spreadsheets in order for our staff to know where each fellow will/needs to be and when/how we will get them there. This task quickly got put to the bottom of the pile though, as I had spent the majority of the remainder of the week (and am still finishing it up) the list for our Smithsonian Welcome Reception on July 27. This reception will include of 1,000 people from all around the world, whether they are fellows, ambassadors, from the Hill, corporations, NGOS, etc. You name it, they’re invited. I have gotten countless e-mails of new people to add to the list, while going through and finding the full names, titles, contact information, etc. of each person on the list. As we are finally winding this project down, I have also been re-creating/editing each University’s (there are 20 in which our fellows are located) Executive Summary of their individual program, and I have also been coordinating and creating the schedule with members of the Department of State who are volunteering at the Summit.
So needless to say, it has been quite the first week at IREX and the rest of the summer will only get busier!
P.S. I joined our company’s softball team, the Tashkent Totalitarians, and we won the first game I played in! WooHoo!