Meridian International Center from the Eyes of an Intern

Meridian Interns Sarenna Cech and Elizabeth Westbrook with Meridian employees


For the past semester, I have been extremely fortunate to intern in the GlobalConnect department of Meridian International Center. While I am still a bit in denial about the fact that the semester is almost over, this post will be an opportunity to reflect over the past couple of months and give my thoughts about interning at Meridian.

First and foremost, for anyone who is interested in applying to intern in one of the many departments at Meridian International Center, I recommend it wholeheartedly. This internship has been a fantastic opportunity: I have been introduced to great people from all over world, participated in a variety of different multicultural events, and worked every week in an office building that was formerly an Ambassador’s mansion.

This internship has also provided many opportunities for personal and professional growth. Through working with the marketing and communications teams at Meridian, I was able to learn more about how nonprofits operate in terms of advertising their initiatives and programming. Though I did work some with the logistical details of certain programs—such as the Iraqi Young Leaders Exchange Program for Undergraduate Students and the Pan-Africa Youth Leadership Program—getting an overview of all of Meridian’s programs through working with the blog and the website provided an interesting and engaging perspective. When the musical theatre group Fabrica travelled to the U.S. from Egypt for a program in January, I was able to not only interview the group on their opinions of America and the program in general, but also to watch them perform at a Martin Luther King Day celebration at the local DC restaurant Busboys and Poets. Other highlights during the semester included interviewing intellectual property rights expert Michael Schlesinger about his experiences in India, attending a reception for the Pan-Africa Youth Leadership Program, and attending various speaking events and presentations around the city—all focused on international diplomacy and foreign relations.  This summer, I’ll be able to get a better look at IYLEP when I work with the team on different communications and programming tasks.

Working with the people at Meridian International Center has been, and continues to be, an enormous pleasure. Listening to stories of past Meridian programs and events held at both houses during past years gave me insight not only into the history of Meridian, but also into the office environment. Meeting interns from across the country allowed me to connect with people I would have never otherwise met. Meridian has also given me an excuse to visit a part of DC I do not usually frequent. I now consider Adam’s Morgan one of my favorite destinations in the city, thanks to its eclectic nature and gastronomic delights. Working in an office that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places was another bonus of the great location.

Interning at Meridian was one of the highlights of my semester, and I am excited to continue working with them this summer. The organization has increased my belief in the power of international exchange to improve public and cultural diplomacy. Meridian makes an impact not only on the local community through volunteer initiatives and educational programming, but also the world. The enthusiasm and excitement of every group that I saw pass through Meridian convinced me of the efficacy and worth of every single program Meridian implements, and will continue to implement in the future.