Industry: International
Type of Internship: Communications: Writing/Editing, Research: Social Sciences
Student Name: Haruka Noishiki
Graduation Year: 2021
Major: International Relations, Psychology
Minor: None
Position Title: Women's Empowerment Fellow
Hours: 40 hours per week
Paid or Unpaid: Other funding/salary source, full-time

What do you do as an intern at this organization?
Most of my time is spent conducting background research for the Women's Empowerment Program, such as finding stats on women entrepreneurs in a specific country and how that might be shaped by workplace environments. I often find my research directed in making a case for why a certain proposal should be funded by the specific organization, or adding a gendered aspect to existing grant proposals. I also curate resources that local country office gender officers can use every week. I frequently attend events closely tied with my position, the organization, and my own personal interest. I have some interaction with the general Washington Office staff as we're housed in the same space.
How did you find this internship?
This is a Tisch Summer Fellows position!
What do you enjoy most about your internship?
I really enjoy being able to use research to make a case for a cause that is important to me. Understanding the similarities and differences in gender equality advocacy across sectors and countries has been fascinating. My supervisors have been very understanding in letting me attend events I want to go to, too, which has made being in DC all the more exciting.
What do you find challenging?
Finding the right time to communicate just the right amount has been something I'm trying to figure out at this internship. When everyone in the office seems so busy, I've found it hard to pipe up and ask questions or ask to do more (as it may burden them to try to give me work). Learning my supervisor's habits and pace has been helpful in figuring out communication.
What advice would you offer to someone who wants to make the most of an internship like yours?
So far I've really enjoyed taking advantage of opportunities to explore new topics that I hadn't thought would be a main focus of my career ever before. I would encourage anyone who has the opportunity to intern anywhere in DC interested in policy or international affairs to attend as many events as they can sustainably, and chat with people whenever drawn by their work. I think making mistakes has been an educational way of learning how to respond to those situations while an intern. People have advised me to get to know people in the office, and that's something I hope to keep working on the rest of the summer! I've also been told the importance of "horizontal connections" (connections with other students and interns), and that's also been a low-stakes way of making new friends and practicing the general idea of networking, which some have called making "professional friends."

About the Organization

Asia Foundation, The
Washington, D.C.

The Asia Foundation is a nonprofit international development organization committed to improving lives across a dynamic and developing Asia. Working through our offices in 18 countries and informed by deep local expertise and six decades of experience, we address the critical issues affecting Asia in the 21st century by: strengthening governance, expanding economic opportunity, increasing environmental resilience, empowering women, and promoting international cooperation.