As a student entering my third and final year at McGill University, I am pursuing a major in Political Science and dual minors in Economics and Communications. My program furnishes me with the platform to delve deeply into my areas of passion: international relations, law, global trade, diplomacy, and commercial consultancy. In this regard, from May to July this summer, I completed an internship at the U.S. Commercial Service, the trade promotion arm of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration. This distinguished service, operating within the confines of Turkey, was augmented by my engagement with the Consular Agency for the U.S. Embassy.
My host organization, U.S. Commercial Service, assists Turkish firms in their efforts to profit from their alliances with American companies either by representing American manufacturers, utilizing American products, or through joint venture arrangements. The organization provides various services through its Izmir office, such as matchmaking, market research and assistance to Turkish companies interested in investing in the U.S. The American and Turkish commercial specialists identify key industry sectors with strong market demand for U.S. goods and services. The commercial section of the U.S. Consulate also organizes trade missions to help U.S. companies enter high-opportunity Turkish industries, as well as to help connect Turkish importers with the best U.S. suppliers.
To support these objectives, as an Intern, I contributed to the office by conducting analyses of information on the domestic market, facilitating contacts with businesses, and conducting primary research to realize opportunities and threats across diverse states within the U.S. Operating under the guidance of a commercial specialist, I had the chance to understand the optimal ways of providing commercial support to corporations. This involved considering the interests of both Turkish and American stakeholders while staying within the bounds of legal regulations.
As an intern, I was tasked with conducting market research on two industries (automotive and chemistry), preparing reports, drafting replies to trade inquiries, and making business appointments for Turkish companies seeking strategic alliances and investment opportunities in the U.S. During my internship, I participated in high-profile meetings where federal government programs housed within the U.S. Department of Commerce, such as SelectUSA Investment Summit, were discussed. These meetings expanded my understanding of international trade and investment dynamics. Participating in these discussions allowed me to grasp the intricate workings of cross-border business interactions and the role of diplomacy in promoting economic partnerships. Moreover, the exposure to high-profile gatherings honed my ability to communicate effectively with diverse stakeholders and enhanced my strategic thinking and problem-solving skills.
Besides my internship within the commercial service, I had a distinctive opportunity to operate under the guidance of a U.S. Consular Agent. My involvement encompassed aiding in administrative functions and providing assistance where needed. This experience provided me with a unique perspective on the operational dynamics of a consular agency, offering me an enriched understanding of the roles and responsibilities involved in assisting U.S. citizens within Turkey.
The highlight of my internship was undoubtedly my participation in orchestrating the 4th of July U.S. Independence Day Reception, a momentous event graced by the presence of distinguished figures such as U.S. Ambassador Jeffry L. Flake, his wife Cheryl Flake, and the Mayor of Izmir. This opportunity allowed me to play a role in the intricate planning and execution of a high-profile diplomatic gathering, contributing to my understanding of event management, protocol, and the nuances of fostering international relations.
Working directly with Turkish-American professionals, outstanding commercial specialists and an inspiring U.S. consular agent, I learned more about their career paths and work ethics, which made me realize my future career and educational goals. Hoping to pursue a career in the legal field someday, U.S. Commercial Service introduced me to a different perspective where I delved into advocating for Turkish enterprises, striving to facilitate smoother market entry and investment opportunities within the United States. Therefore, this unique experience allowed me to expand on my Political Science/International Relations coursework in a practical setting. While this summer internship deepened my appreciation for the interplay between government agencies and private enterprises, it affirmed my aspiration to forge a meaningful career path in the intersection of law and international relations.
I would like to express my sincere gratitude to Arts Internship Office for supporting me through the whole process and to Mr. Garvin Brown and Susan Casey Brown Fund for making this experience possible with their generous support.