Seniors Share: My Summer Internship

Sep 6, 2018
Sarah M. Binder
Woodrow Wilson School

From meeting with a U.S. Supreme Court Justice to improving mastery of the Mandarin language, Princeton University seniors concentrating in the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs tackled memorable and meaningful summer internships. Here, several seniors answer questions about their experiences.

Samantha Chai ’19
Internship: Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics, and Policy (CDDEP)
June - August 2018

What was the highlight of your summer internship? The highlight has been collaborating on a paper about antimicrobial resistance and primary health care for the World Health Organization. I visited the World Health Organization, South-East Asia Regional Office last week with a colleague and discussed their comments on our first draft.



Maria JerezMaria Jerez ’19
Internship: U.S. Department of Justice
June 6 - August 15, 2018

What was the highlight of your summer internship? Getting to do case research and watching World Cup games in the conference room!

What was your biggest surprise? The way that a tiny word (or punctuation) in a law or regulation can make all the difference.



Wesley JohnsonWesley Johnson ’19
Internship: Office of U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT)
May 9 - August 3, 2018

What was the highlight of your summer internship? Meeting with Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas as well as Supreme Court Nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

What was your biggest challenge? Being comfortable asking staffers and full-time employees for more responsibilities.

What was your biggest surprise? My biggest surprise is how much differently government works than I actually thought it did. Being a Woodrow Wilson School major you think your grasp of our government is pretty solid, but I promise it is not unless you have actually been here for a summer.


Amanda MorrisonAmanda Morrison ’19
Internship: U.S.-Asia Law Institute
June 1 - August 10, 2018

What was your biggest challenge? The learning curve for researching the Chinese legal system was steep. I had to take time to understand the forest before researching the trees! Once I built a foundation to begin research on my specific topic areas, working with Chinese language sources was a challenge but also a great opportunity to push and improve my Mandarin.

What was your biggest surprise? I started my internship knowing I would be focusing on Chinese law. I didn't realize, however, the extent to which my research would reveal so much to me about criminal procedure and legislation here in the U.S. You realize that growing up in the U.S. — or even having a parent who is a lawyer — is not enough to understand nuances and application of legal procedure. In researching Chinese domestic violence and sexual harassment laws, I learned about the specific bills proposed and passed in the U.S. in the wake of #MeToo. In researching wrongful convictions in China, I learned about convictions, guilty pleas and exonerations in the U.S. The list goes on. (Another surprise/highlight was having the chance to participate in the Second China Human Rights Lawyers’ Day organized by Teng Biao; event pictured.)