I love my internship with the Department of Defense. Working in the Pentagon has been an amazing experience I will forever cherish. 

Also, it is a REALLY COOL building.

OSCE and the DoD


One of the many things my department handles within OSD-policy for Russia, Ukraine, and Eurasia is conventional arms control. Within conventional arms control (CAC), my team and I formulate policy, revise current arms control treaties and agreements, maintaining security relationships, and regulating the development and usage of new weapons technologies. 

My department, especially in regard to the Ukraine Crisis, works closely with the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) which is headquartered in the Hofburg Palace in Vienna. 


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One of the best things about DC: The people.

Almost Everyone that resides in Washington DC is a federal employee, so instead of constantly running to networking events, one of the best ways to network and meet people is to try and meet people while out grabbing dinner or visiting a pub in DuPont…

The White House



There is something about walking next to this building that immediately stimulates dreams for an ambitious future. 

Perhaps one day!

Chile: iacchilenismos:

On July 16th, Chileans sang their national anthem to close out the mass celebrating La Virgen del Carmen.

(via iacchilenismos)

But first, let me take a selfie

Yesterday, Michelle called an impromptu gathering upstairs with all the staff members at the campaign headquarters. Some of us didn’t even know she was in the office at the time. All we were told seconds before we were expected upstairs was, “Michelle needs all of you upstairs right now for an important announcement.” Now, in the work environment, this can either be the most frightening or delighting news you can get.

When we got upstairs, a range of popsicles from King of Pops were set out on the table. Everyone couldn’t help but think that this has to be good news, right?

When Michelle walked in, everyone was socializing with each other. She talked to a few interns about policy questions they had. However, my first reaction to seeing her was: “I need a selfie with her”. A few interns and I walked up to Michelle, introduced ourselves, and ask her for a selfie. Safe to say, she was just as excited as we were.  She even mentioned our selfie at the end of the speech that she gave!

I’m sure you guys are still waiting to hear what the news she had to give us was. It wasn’t good, at all. It was actually great news! THE CAMPAIGN RAISED $3.4 MILLION IN THE LAST QUARTER. The campaign also managed to get a county leader in all 159 counties in the state of Georgia, as well as a donor from all 159 counties.

What a sweet accomplishment- with an even sweeter dessert to celebrate with!

BMW of the past 3 weeks

Hello again everyone,

Sorry for the long gap in posts. It has been a crazy few weeks, with many people visiting and many exciting things happenings around Munich! Here’s a quick overview of what I have been up to these past few weeks:

6/29 - 7/6: This week, my mom, dad, sister,and the German LBAT all came to Munich, so my week was split between hanging out with my family and fellow Georgia Tech students. That weekend, I spent the Fourth of July with my parents in Salzburg, Austria, exploring ancient castles, eating the original sacher-torte at Cafe Sacher,  visiting Mozart’s house, and getting our Sound of Music fix.


7/6 - 7/13: A week of goodbyes and celebrations. I helped to host the German LBAT when they visited BMW’s headquarters and gave a presentation about what it was like to intern for BMW and makes BMW an attractive employer. After work, we all went to the Olympic Stadium to watch Germany’s semifinal match against Brazil. Despite the rain, it was an incredible experience! My parents and I had our final dinner together, and we said goodbye until Christmas. Then, I said farewell to my LBAT friends as well as they left for Berlin. 
That weekend, a fraternity brother who was interning in Switzerland came to visit, so we spent the weekend eating Bavarian food, exploring Munich, and watching World Cup games. After Germany’s stunning victory over Argentina Sunday night, we took to the streets and celebrated the win along with over 80,000 others. It was incredible. Words cannot describe the energy and enthusiasm that permeated the crowd. There was a sense of camaraderie shared between everyone wearing Germany colors, and the Argentina fans were partying alongside the Germany fans. There’s nothing quite like it back home. Certainly one of the best nights of my life.
7/13 - 7/20: Another round of goodbyes. This week, a good friend of mine from Tech also interning at BMW left to go back home after finishing his internship. To celebrate his last week here, we went to the Tollwood Sommerfest (a big arts, music, and food festival here in Munich) one day and a beergarden in the Englischer Gardens (one of the biggest inner-city parks in the world) the next. The most enjoyable part about interning in Munich is that after-work things like this are the norm for people living in Munich full-time. However, one unfortunate thing about starting my internship at this point during the summer is that the Spring-Summer interns will all be leaving in the next few weeks, meaning that there will be many more goodbyes to come.

Chile: iacchilenismos:

Church and State. Two entities that are, by law and tradition, kept separate in our country. The concept of separation between church and state is something that I always assumed I would find in any modern democratic state. Chile, however, has added another dimension to my preconceived notions on…


Hey everyone!
I’m Joseph Rondone and I’m a fourth year Public Policy student at Georgia Tech. This summer and Fall I am interning at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. My internship is in Community and Economic Development (CED) at the Fed. Hopefully over the next couple of weeks you’ll be able…

What makes it hard to work in federal government?


Working in the DoD acronyms have become a way of living and subdivisions on subdivisions on subdivisions have become a normalcy for my every day work environment. Constantly, you are running around trying to figure out who you need to talk to, who you need approval from, and what to do next to complete your assignment.

Just a brief description of my office: I am interning with Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy -OUSD(P)

In OUSD(P) there are several divisions under the watchful eye of the Assistant Secretary of Defense(ASD) such as International Security Affairs (ISA), Asia Pacific Security Affairs (APSA), Global Strategic Affairs (GSA), and etc.

My office is Russia, Ukraine, Eurasia (RUE) under ASD Chollet for ISA. Here is ASD Chollet’s bio and job function.

His office is a political appointment, so he has not always been involved with the DoD. ASD Chollet is described as a calm, clear, articulate, and professional. I have seen him in action, and he makes everything he does look flawless and easy. It is pretty unfair to those like me who have to rehearse constantly to deliver speeches and prepare for the unexpected. ASD holds a very respected and good rapport with everyone in ISA, and it has been an amazing experience to work under his ASD-ship. 

As I was saying, I am in OUSD(P), ISA, RUE. Within my RUE office there are about 10 policy-makers, two of which are team leaders. These 10 policy-makers represent either Russia, Conventional Arms Control (CAC), or separate countries in the Balkans, Black Sea, and Caucasus (Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Serbia, Czech Republic, Montenegro, Slovenia, Macedonia, and Kosovo.  These leaders along with the team report to two directors: One director for Russia and CAC and one director for the Balkans, Black Sea, and Caucasus. These two directors report along with the rest of the team to the Principal Director (PD) who is the right-hand man/woman for the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense (DASD).

The PD in my office is Laura Gross. She is a remarkable woman who is very straightforward, direct, somewhat soft spoken, intuitive, and remarkable intelligent. She previously worked for GSA and in counter-WMD policy. 

DASD Farkas runs the RUE office. She is very accomplished, brilliant, chatty, energetic, and always asking questions. Here is her bio.

It has been more than a pleasure working with these two fabulous women and their meticulous team. The inter-office microeconomic structure is very compartmentalized, but it somehow functions successfully through constant team meetings called “all-hands” and never-ending e-mails. Everyone in each team represents a different specific component to the overall course. Within CAC each individual handles separate treaties and their operations. Russia utilizes its 3-man team to separate the issues into policy, economics, and duties within the department. The Balkans, Black Sea, and Caucasus team is split between one person on the Ukraine desk and the remaining 4 people representing the remaining countries. While each person has separate duties, each team united to build a centric approach to issues and utilizes each member to attend meetings, present and write briefs, and to gain inter-agency clearances. 

This all sounds very confusing, and IT IS, but it gets easier once you see it and learn each role. As an intern I get to experience the role of each individual as he/she requests help with specific tasks. I will not go as far to say that I have formulated policy because that would be a blatant lie, but I can say I have witnesses and aided the development of DoD policy, gathered intelligence, briefed various counterparts up to the DASD-level, written appeals to Congress, and more. This internship has been essential into learning how the massive organ that is the US DoD functions, formulates policy, and executes orders. 

Now, did you see all those acronyms?! 

My internship has and still remains one of the best experiences of my life. Lessons learned would be not to discuss any material without knowing specifics because people actually do listen to you at DoD. You don’t want to give them incorrect information, so don’t think on your feet. Make sure you look up details before delivering information. Also, never be afraid to ask questions. 

My recommendations: Be sure to always try to determine lessons learned from each assignment; these lessons are how you grow, and that is essential to becoming a professional in an ever-changing field.

Back to the Primaries

Here’s a picture of the volunteers from phone bank we had for the primaries. The office was packed with volunteers of all ages (even those who couldn’t vote in this election). Needless to say- we reached that short term goal.

What inspires me daily is the people who go in and out of this office because they are so willing to do whatever it takes to get Michelle elected. Many of these people are first-time voters. For some, it’s their first time actively participating in a campaign. 

Also, who said young people didn’t participate in campaigns? The Nunn campaign has done a wonderful job of mobilizing high school and college students to not only stand up for a change, but also for  c-h-a-n-g-e in the state of Georgia. 

One action creates a chain reaction. 

All of these volunteers are taking back what they see at the Nunn campaign to their cities, counties, and schools to create an even larger support base for Michelle Nunn. 

No matter what the cause, try to be that ACTION. 

Life on the Nunn Campaign Trail

What an extraordinary experience it has been!

For the past two months, I’ve been interning with Michelle Nunn’s U.S Senate campaign. I’m an intern with the field team at the campaign. This means I plan events, talk to volunteers, meet amazing people, and reap the unintended perks of a political internship (some of which include going to the Braves game just to register voters). 

Here’s a brief recap of a day in the life of my internship:

As far as schedules go, my bosses are extremely lenient and realize that all the interns have other commitments, such as summer classes, family, and volunteer work. This is why we make our own schedules and come in when it is convenient for us as long as we meet the said, “15 hour/week” minimum time commitment. Sometimes, we work on the weekends (that means going to the coolest festivals Atlanta has to offer and register voters).

My job also consists of mobilizing hundreds of volunteers to come out and support the Nunn campaign, even if it’s in the smallest way possible. Sometimes these tasks include calling volunteers and asking them to join us for a community volunteering event, such as rebuilding the basketball fields at a local middle school or phone banking to “get the vote out.”

One of the best parts about the internship is that we aren’t just limited to the field department. We get to explore other areas of the office, such as press, finance, and analytics. A few days out of the week, we get to go upstairs to work with these departments.

Next, come the obligatory “coffee breaks”. Now, these aren’t just normal coffee breaks. They’re more like, “let’s go upstairs so we can see Michelle and have a real conversation with her” breaks. Occasionally, Michelle takes time out of her busy schedule to come to the campaign headquarters. She walks around the headquarters and makes sure to talk to everyone she sees.

After we’re done with our normal morning routine of planning events and finishing whatever work our field organizer needs us to do, a flock (yes, I mean at least 15 interns) of interns walk over to Colony Square for lunch. Sometimes, we decide to be spontaneous and go to cool restaurants in Atlanta for lunch. My favorite, YEAH! Burger was where we decided to go last week. (I’m the unofficial “food chair”).

After lunch, we all usually go canvassing or prep for events at the headquarters later in the evening.

In conclusion:

One of the best parts of my internships thus far has been meeting all the amazing new interns and experiencing Atlanta’s city life. It’s truly a wonderful experience and I encourage you all to volunteer or intern over the course of your summers. Not only will you make amazing connections, but you’ll have experiences that will surpass your expectations of what the stereotypical “intern life” is generalized to be. I’ve met so many great, inspirational people at the Nunn office and cannot wait to see what other things will happen in the final weeks of my internship.

Chile: iacchilenismos

“Cancho en Misa”: n. a person or object out of context

Today I began my three weeks as a tourist before classes start in August. My two destinations today could not have provided a starker contrast: El Museo de Arte Contemporanio (The Museum of Modern Art) and El Museo de La Memoria y Los…

Chile: The Art of Letting Go

by Andres Marcuse-Gonzalez, 3rd year EIA

Tranqui: v. calm (down), don’t worry; slang – derived from tranquilo

I’ve never felt prepared for a trip, regardless of how extensive my preparations might be: there’s only so much you can fit into one fifty-pound suitcase, a backpack, and a small carry-on case. Despite all the checklists, the…

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