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Engaging Summer Internship Provides Insight into Real World Issues

September 14, 2019 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

We asked Amanda Oh, recipient of the Hatton Sumners Scholarship, to tell us about her experience interning at The Wilson Center in Washington D.C. this past summer.

This summer I had the privilege to work as a Woodrow Wilson Center research assistant for Bob Davis, senior editor of the Wall Street Journal covering U.S.-China economic relations. Given the relevance of the Trade War this past year and throughout the summer, researching with Mr. Davis was undoubtedly some of the most interesting and engaging work I have ever done. The Wilson Center is a world-renowned think tank known for being the crossroads of academic insight and congressional policy making. Mr. Davis was selected as a scholar in the Kissinger Institute on China and the United States research and write a book, with WSJ’s Lingling Wei, on the Trade War and its monetary effects on the U.S. economy. The book, tentatively titled The Superpowers War: U.S.-China Trade and Economic Relations, will be published in Spring 2020.

Bob Wilson and Amanda Oh

I was treated as a full-fledged journalist by Mr. Davis as I supported the research needs of his book. Over the course of my ten-week internship I learned how qualitative and quantitative research on high-stakes policy developments is completed. I read hundreds of analyst calls from S&P 500 components, analyzed and visualized data from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis and Bureau of Labor Statistics, attended U.S. Trade Representative (UTSR) Section 301 hearings, and interviewed trade experts and C-suite executives from brands like Columbia Sportswear and Klean Kanteen to investigate supply chain management in China. Part of my job was to cold-call owners of small and medium-sized U.S. businesses and ask how the rocky US-China trading relationship affected them personally. I learned how Inner Mongolian goats were integral to the American apparel industry and how Chinese steel transshipments injured American manufacturing. Throughout these investigations, it became clear that policy made in my hometown of D.C. sent reverberations across the country and ignited citizen action. A number of my interviewees had testified before the USTR or spoken with their congressmen.

As a student interested in a policy-oriented career, I leave this internship hoping that the research I did for The Superpowers War can lend insight to citizens who may not fully understand the effects of the Trade War. I also walk away with a better understanding of the importance of thorough research in creating sound policy and making decisions.


September 14, 2019
8:00 am - 5:00 pm
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