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Building Commercial Diplomacy Skills Through an Internship in Shenyang, China

photo of jesse

This past summer, China Studies student Jesse Adler had the opportunity to serve as an intern at the US Consulate General in Shenyang, China -- the capital of Liaoning Province in Northeast China, near the border with North Korea. Jesse was one of several students who were the recipients of the new Johns Hopkins SAIS China Studies Internship Award, which provides financial support for students pursuing unpaid public service internships.
During his internship, Jesse was assigned to work in the Foreign Commercial Service office of the US Department of Commerce, promoting American exports to the provinces of Liaoning, Jilin, and Heilongjiang, together an $800 billion market. This experience allowed him to hone his commercial diplomacy skills, as well as expand his network not only with American diplomats and Chinese counterparts, but also with Canadian, German, and Korean expatriates, among others. Jesse was exposed to various industries in the United States, such as intermodal freight transportation and was able to expand his knowledge of the inner workings of an American diplomatic post, as well as the business climate in Northeast China and the politics of Northeast Asia. In addition, Jesse worked on interagency assignments that included presenting at public affairs events to local audiences and educating the local Shenyang community on American culture and society.
While living in China, Jesse had the chance to travel to more than 20 provinces. For Jesse, Shenyang stood out amongst other Chinese cities because of its people, who he found to be warm-hearted and highly enthusiastic. Furthermore, Jesse found the city’s rich history and culture, as well as economic and political climate, a great place to build his network and expertise outside the classroom.