Saturday, September 26, 2009

So this week I was granted the task of doing massive amounts of research...granted most of it was finding the addresses and e-mails of people like Hans Binnendijk (whose name is pronounced Ben-in-dike, which I learned from an embarrassing phone call to his center--note to self and anyone who might be reading this, always find out pronunciations of names before calling) and Julian Lindley-French, but most of these experiences actually have refined my professional phone calling skills. This research also proved a lot to my boss-- most of the research he asked me to do I had done in five minutes, much quicker than he even said it would've taken him....score 1 for the intern! I am actually pretty shocked at the amount of information I retained after doing so much reading this week...I guess that's what happens when you read about topics that are actually interesting to you.

Sometimes research isn't research at is research that will help you create your own research. This was my day on Thursday when I went through all 28 NATO countries in the CIA World Factbook to find out each one's individual GDP and next week I will go to all their aid websites to find out how much money each country gives in aid to Afghanistan each year, and then I will use alllll of that data to figure out percentage GDP of aid given to Afghanistan. That is what we need for a publication we are putting out.

I also cost my NGO over $200 this week when I found this really good publication called The Military Balance from the International Institute for Strategic Studies about the military capabilites of over 170 countries...I was told it was a pretty damn good buy and I earned my letter of recommendation for finding that jewel. =)

On Thursday, the Center organized a discussion group with the interns and some of the younger workers to talk about our anual Fellowship Conference in November and what our president would talk about. He wanted some guidance on how a generation much younger than him would percieve his message about social and personal responisbility...we offered many suggestions and ended up with an excellent round table discussion on topics that our plaguing our generation such as health care and environmental concerns. I was able to engage with people who are several years older than me (although still included in my generation) and I was pretty proud of how I handled my arguments and presented opinions and suggestions.

Another thing I learned on Thursday was that is probably one of the worst ideas to leave work at 5:15....the Metro is hell. I must have sat at Farragut North for 20 minutes waiting for a train that had a few inches of room to spare in the cars. Never again.

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