By Taleen Lachinian, ANCA Leo Sarkisian 2013 intern
To most college students, a summer internship is merely a resume booster, which in reality involves coffee runs and endless hours at a copy machine. Fortunately for myself and 5 other interns, our summer has been drastically different. We have had the privilege of representing the Eastern Region as interns for the Armenian National Committee of America’s (ANCA) Leo Sarkisian Internship program in Washington, D.C.
Going into the program as the only intern not majoring in political science, I was worried about finding meaningful and interesting worky. However, I have had the opportunity to complete numerous projects that are both relevant to my business background and interests, and make an impact in furthering the Armenian cause both here in Washington and around the world. For example, one of my projects involved researching trade statistics between Turkey and other countries, proving that following genocide recognition, economic relations actually increase, despite Turkey’s threats to cut economic ties. The data that I found will be used in meetings between members of the ANCA and Members of Congress.
Another one of the projects we worked on at the beginning of the summer was to sort through all of the Armenian newspapers, find where Members of Congress were mentioned, and hand-deliver a copy of those articles to the office of each Representative or Senator. The purpose of this project was to encourage representatives to continue helping Armenians with their influence on Capitol Hill.
In addition to my projects at the office, I have also had the opportunity to attend multiple hearings, participate in events, and see sights in the most historical city in America. My favorite event so far has been the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing to confirm Samantha Power as the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. Power has been a long-time friend to the Armenians, as she is a firm advocate for human rights. Having the opportunity to be able to sit in a room with over 20 powerful Senators who are heavily involved in the decision-making process of this country was fascinating.
Along with hearings and events, the other interns and I have enjoyed sightseeing at historic monuments such as the Washington Monument, the National Mall, the Smithsonian, the Lincoln Memorial, Arlington National Cemetery, and the White House.
Living in one house with the interns has been extremely rewarding. They hail from Los Angeles, Montreal, and New Jersey. We have all gotten very close, and I will miss them all when the internship comes to an end. The meaningful work that I have done here this summer will shape my career as a successful businesswoman and a proud Armenian.