During her fall semester, Johns Hopkins University student Emily Tatum ’15 was one of fifteen undergraduates selected for the Aitchison Public Service Fellowship in Government offered by the school’s political science department. She studied in Washington, D.C. to gain real-world experience in the life and politics of the nation’s capital. In addition to her coursework Emily interned at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
“I was the only intern in the external relations unit, so I was really integrated into my team, which was a great learning experience,” said Emily. “My work included monitoring congressional legislation and activity, going to Capitol Hill frequently to attend hearings, and sending memos on behalf of my team to our larger organization. I also prepared UNHCR staff members for meetings with congressmen/women, senators, state departments, and Department of Defense representatives by providing background research.”
Throughout the semester, Emily was exposed to not only the UNHCR’s work, but the larger efforts of the United Nations, the workings of the U.S. federal government, and the unique D.C. political culture. Her favorite experiences were attending congressional hearings and synthesizing the information to keep her team informed.
Emily credited her JHU classes for preparing her well for the intensive research components of her internship.
“In my Public Policy writing course I learned practical skills to apply to my writing for the UN, and I saw such an improvement during the semester,” said Emily. “However, there was still was a learning curve with understanding how to take notes during congressional hearings.”
Being a member of the Model UN team at MFS helped Emily realize she wanted to pursue international affairs at Hopkins. She currently is a double major in international studies and sociology, with a focus on global social change and development. Emily is a member of the Amnesty International chapter, coordinator of the JHUMUNC Model UN conference for high school students, captain of the club field hockey team, and a peer listener with the A Place to Talk organization. After working with the UNHCR and the Philadelphia Nationalities Service Center, Emily hopes to continue her career path in the refugee and immigration policy field.