Paris as Classroom

Internship Spotlight: Cameron Waggett

“My internship was a key step in my professional trajectory”

Cameron Waggett G’21 is a recent graduate from AUP’s MA in Global Communications. His six-month stint with the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), in the Public Affairs and Communications Directorate, allowed him to adapt his mode of working to new, exciting global contexts.

 

What made you apply for an OECD internship?

I have been interested in the OECD for a long time. Ten years ago, I reached out to a member of their Public Affairs and Communications Directorate to inquire about internship opportunities. I interviewed for a position in 2014, but I decided to withdraw to pursue other opportunities. In 2019, I began my MA in Global Communications at AUP. When it came to finding an internship, I reached out again to my same contact. It really reinforced for me the power of maintaining and nurturing professional connections.

 

What was it like working for such an international organization?

I assisted with virtual and hybrid meetings, events and press conferences, which included contributing to a variety of visual and written communication materials. I also attended events on behalf of my team, providing written recaps to team leaders. The two official languages of the OECD are English and French, and I was very pleased to work in this multilingual environment. I am proud of having contributed to a team that ushered in a new era of digital growth at the OECD. For example: people from 121 countries registered to attend our final OECD Forum virtual event, up from 29 countries at the forum’s initial outing.

The hybrid approach was challenging but also provided countless opportunities to learn how to collaborate more effectively in the digital space.

What was one of the main challenges of your internship?

One of my biggest challenges was learning how to adapt my exciting communications experience to the needs of the team. After spending nearly two years immersed in MA coursework, my approach to projects was thorough, descriptive and analytical. Much of that was applicable to the context of my daily tasks, but I also had to learn to strike the right balance between my academic mindset and the results-oriented needs of my team.

 

How did the Covid-19 pandemic affect your internship?

The ongoing global health situation created an infrequent and erratic on-site work schedule – I worked on site at the OECD a total of 20 times – so fortunately I was also able to carry out my intern responsibilities remotely. This hybrid approach was challenging but also provided countless opportunities to learn how to collaborate more effectively in the digital space. Gaining professional experience in a hybrid working environment was invaluable to me as companies and organizations are increasingly embracing flexible work models.

 

How did your internship influence your career plans?

With aspirations to continue developing a globally minded career path in communications, I regard my internship as a key step in my professional trajectory. I greatly appreciated the training I received and the professional experience I gained, and the qualitative aspects of my experience were equally valuable to me. Experiencing the work environment, interacting with my team, and listening to historical anecdotes from colleagues provided an enriching context within which to view the organization’s past, present and future.