Internship Spotlight

Elizabeth Cleveland

Intern at the US Mission to the OECD

Internships are a great opportunity to apply what you learn in the classroom to life in the real world. Here, recent AUP international and comparative politics graduate Elizabeth Cleveland ’21 shares her experience as Administrative and Communications Intern for the US Department of State at the US Mission to the OECD. As she juggled a variety of tasks – from drafting notes, readouts and summaries of the events she attended to editing videos for the US Mission’s YouTube page – Elizabeth realized during her internship that she wanted to pursue a career in international politics. 

What are your pronouns?


Tell us a little bit about your background?

I am from Sycamore, Illinois, in the far west suburbs of Chicago. Before AUP, I had only lived in the US but my parents work in the aviation industry so I had traveled a lot before moving. 

Which company/organization are you currently interning with?

I interned for the US Department of State at the US Mission to the OECD.

Where is your internship taking place? 

My internship took place in Paris, France. 

When is your internship taking place?

Fall 2019 

What is your job title?

Administrative and Communications Intern

What types of responsibilities and/or tasks do you have in your internship? What's a typical day for you like?

While my responsibilities varied, a large part of my internship was attending meetings, conferences and briefings and subsequently providing readouts and summaries of the events that had transpired. In addition, I drafted several cables that were sent back to Washington DC and to other diplomatic posts across the world. In working with the folks at the Department of Energy, I acted as logistical manager, planning for high-level delegation visits and helping staff the events as they occurred. I edited videos that were uploaded onto the US Mission to the OECD YouTube page, drafted notes and cables used by US delegates and visitors to the OECD, and staffed the IEA Ministerial in December. 

What are the biggest challenges and successes you’ve experienced during your internship?  

The biggest challenge during my internship was the RATP strike of Winter 2019. We had a very important delegation coming from Washington DC right at the start of the strike and had to coordinate their movements and commitments around it. 

What language(s) are you speaking/using in your internship?  

The OECD’s official languages are French and English, and I used both while interning. 

Tells us about your future goals/aspirations. Is this internship relevant? Do you think it will help you along the way? How? 

This internship was extremely helpful in narrowing down my goals. It taught me what I do and do not want from a future career. I feel ready to enter into a career in politics now, especially a career in diplomacy. I had never really considered a career in the foreign service prior to this internship but it is now a contender. It has confirmed that this is the field I want to work in and has encouraged me to pursue a career in international politics.