The Hungarian American Coalition‘s internship program sponsored seven Hungarian university students’ internships this past year. The Coalition Internship Program (CIP) allows young Hungarians to get acquainted with the workings of U.S. government and civil society, to motivate them for public service in their respective places of origin as well as to build closer relations with the US in their professional areas of expertise. Last year’s program was made possible by a grant of The Hungary Initiatives Foundation.
Placement: Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN), Washington D.C.: March 21 – July 21, 2017
Luca’s main task at GEN was to do research on key ecosystem actors in Ireland, Israel and Lebanon. She also managed the Twitter account of GEN and its various online platforms, and she also took several online marketing courses to develop her skills in this field. Apart from her work at GEN, Luca also worked on a research project that she will use for her thesis later on. Her research project was on President Trump’s economic and trade policy and its possible outcomes, especially its impact on the EU and Hungary. She had the chance to take part in numerous events to have a better insight on this topic and had meetings with experts, for example with István Dobozi, a former lead economist at the World Bank. Luca was also instrumental in organizing the Coalition’s 2017 Gala Dinner and HATOG X conference.
“I was at the right place at the right time in many aspects. I was delighted that I had the chance to have a better understanding on the recent U.S. elections and its impacts. I was also excited that I could gain experience in how an American work environment really looks like. But I was interested the most in getting to know how the famous networking works at the capital city of the United States.”
Luca Mórocz from Budapest, Hungary is pursuing undergraduate studies in International Economics at the Budapest University of Technology and Economics (Budapest, Hungary), where she is specializing on Economic Statistics and Corporate Finance. Luca is interested in foreign economic policy and politics, and she was a member of the organizing committee of Budapest International Model United Nations (BIMUN) between 2011 and 2015. Before starting her internship in Washington DC, Luca worked for an international consulting company called M27 Absolvo for one year.
Placement: Institute for Governance and Sustainable Development (IGSD), Washington D.C.: July 5 – November 4, 2017
Éva’s work at IGSD included website management, various research tasks, participation in webinars, proofreading and editing documents and articles, drafting social media strategies for the organization, and monitoring news related to climate change and environmental policies. She also carried out an extensive analysis based on several calculations of carbon footprints. As Éva arrived to DC earlier to work on her thesis, together with Coalition President Andrea Lauer Rice and CIP intern Luca Mórocz, she represented the Coalition at the 10th annual Roll Call of Nations organized by the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation and also helped the Coalition in organizing its 2017 Gala Dinner and HATOG X conference.
“I loved every moment of being part of this program. I was lucky to work at an active and influential organization, being part of the everyday office environment and work on really valuable and forward-looking projects as a temporary team member. Although I’ve already had a professional background and work experience in Hungary, now I had the chance to get to know how things work in the hub of policy-making. This internship experience not only helped my professional advancement, but greatly contributed to my personal development, and serves as a basis to future opportunities”.
Éva Lukonits finished her graduate studies Environmental Sciences and Policy at Central European University in Budapest, Hungary in June 2017, and she also holds an undergraduate degree in Landscape Architecture and Garden Construction Engineering from Corvinus University of Budapest, Hungary. In 2015, Éva attended the Climate Reality Leadership Corps training in Miami, FL, which provoked and challenged her thinking, but most importantly gave her the motivation to pursue a career in this field. Prior to her studies at CEU, she worked as a project assistant at CEEweb for Biodiversity from February to August 2016.
Placement: Marymount University and Hungarian American Coalition, Washington D.C.: June 25 – September 15, 2017
The objective of Orsolya’s internship was to learn about marketing tools for cultural events, theater management, use of social media, grant-seeking techniques, sponsorships etc., as these methods are still in their early stages in Serbia. So apart from her regular meetings at the Faculty of Communication and Media Sciences at Marymount University (Arlington, VA), Orsolya spent one month in New York City getting experience in theater production, stage and design production, promotional methods for cultural events including exhibits, lectures and conferences. She also attended Hungarian Communion of Friends’ ITT-OTT conference in August helping the Bocskai Radio with the production of interviews and short film clips. In September, Orsolya attended the 62nd Hungarian Scout Festival in Cleveland and became familiar with the operation of the Hungarian Heritage Museum.
“My expectations were greatly exceeded, and I tried to get up as early as possible and go to bed as late as possible to extend my days. Competition is very intense in the US, as everyone needs to constantly prove that he or she is the best for that position, and because everyone does this I felt constant motivation. While I was in the US, this momentum stuck to me, and now it drives me even more in my work at home”.
Orsolya Gazsó holds a graduate degree in Communications and Media Sciences from the University of Szeged, Hungary. She is originally from a small town in Vojvodina, Serbia called Bačka Topola (Topolya). Prior to her internship in DC, she worked as a program coordinator and PR manager at Kosztolányi Dezső Theatre in Szabadka, Serbia and she was also the creator and editor of a weekly 30-minute-long Hungarian radio program entitled “Let’s talk” at Radio Novi Sad, in which she interviews everyday heroes and people with interesting professions and achievements in their own fields of interest.
Placement: Marymount University, Arlington, VA: July 31 – November 4, 2017
During the 3 months period, the objective of Réka’s internship was to learn how to develop plans for university endowments, fundraising techniques, alumni development programs and networking with the Hungarian American community. At Marymount University, Réka helped with preparing the promotional materials for alumni events, attended several meetings with potential donors, helped organize and attended Homecoming and President Circle Dinner for annual donors. She regularly attended events at Foundation Center and made research at the Library of Congress on fundraising strategies, online media, and how social media is used nowadays for fundraising purposes. Réka also attended Hungarian Communion of Friends’ ITT-OTT conference in August helping the Bocskai Radio with the production of interviews and short film clips and in September, she attended the 62nd Hungarian Scout Festival in Cleveland, both events together with CIP intern Orsolya Gazsó.
“This experience had a great impact on me: I learned how to start a fundraising campaign, I gained insight to the philanthropy world of the US, I met new people, I had meaningful conversations which were very helpful, and learned how to behave at an American work environment.”
Réka Veres is an undergraduate studying Communications and PR at Babeș-Bolyai University (Cluj Napoca, Romania). She is originally from a small village in Transylvania, Romania called Sânmiclăuș (Bethlenszentmiklós). As an alumna of the Bethlen Gábor Kollégium (BGK) of Aiud (Nagyenyed), Romania, she was recommended by the Két Fűzfa Association to help their goal of establishing an endowment fund which will support BGK through donations and sponsorships
Placement: Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN), Washington D.C.: September 4 – December 15, 2017
Faye’s main aim was to develop herself professionally in the marketing and communications sphere in an American work environment, and to get more involved in the Hungarian-American community. At GEN, she was responsible for providing important information to their partners so they could use GEN’s branding accurately at events; writing articles that highlighted special events in different cities and promoting specific partners/events to gain engagement and exposure. Faye also had the chance to participate in overseeing Global Entrepreneurship Week 2017 between November 13-19. As for the Hungarian-American community, Faye attended and volunteered in many events eg. Victims of Communism Centennial Commemoration Dinner, and she was instrumental in helping the Coalition with its preparations for the annual Mikulás Dinner and its Annual and Board Meetings, as well as she helped create and launch ’12 Days of CIP’ Campaign.
“Through working at Global Entrepreneurship Network, I learned how to work in a fast-paced, versatile environment where my work had a real-life impact on people. I really appreciated that the team at GEN gave me real responsibility. This program also helped me to vastly improve my knowledge about the Hungarian American community.”
Faye Gillespie has recently graduated at McGill University (Montreal, Canada) majoring in Economics with a double minor in Management and International Development. As a proud Hungarian-American she has been active in Hungarian-American events and activities since she was a child. Prior to her internship at GEN, she was a communications assistant at her university and she also worked as a content creator at Vitaminwater in Montreal. Faye has extensive knowledge of all forms of social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Buzzfeed) and how to maximize brand exposure.
Placement: Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA), Washington D.C.: September 14, 2017 – January 3, 2018
Right on his first week, László had the chance to dive in the work of CEPA and participate in the institute’s biggest conference, the leading annual transatlantic security conference in Washington DC, the 9th CEPA Forum that took place on September 21-22, 2017. László’s responsibilities at CEPA mainly focused on research of various topics, mostly Russian influence on the Western Balkans as well as attending public hearings, and participating in several roundtable discussions or seminars. He was also involved in the memory project of CEPA, which attempted to emphasize and introduce events from times of socialism in the Eastern Bloc, which were meaningful in either a positive or negative sense. László was also instrumental in helping the Coalition with its preparations for the annual Mikulás Dinner and its Annual and Board Meetings.
“Working at CEPA gave me a lot when it comes to pure knowledge and connections but there is one more thing that is notable. The American work attitude I was acquainted with differs in some aspects from the European, which I am used to. In the US, researchers are rather keen on starting the exploration with the problem itself and they try to find solutions. This approach prevails not only in their research work but also in everyday office situations, where the quest for a solution is prioritized over looking at the reasons behind a problem.”
László Szerencsés has recently finished his graduate studies in Global Political Economy at the University of Kassel, Germany with the scholarship of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). He also holds an undergraduate degree in International Relations from Budapest Business School. After successfully managing a student organization called Global Youth Diplomacy in Budapest, he became an intern at the Cabinet of the State Secretary for Cultural and Science Diplomacy at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Hungary in early 2015, and during his studies in Kassel he also did an internship at the Embassy of Hungary in Berlin, Germany in the summer of 2016. Afterwards, under the umbrella of the European Academy of Diplomacy (EAD), he was engaged with research in the field of refugees in Europe, especially in the V4 countries.
Placement: Center for Energy, Natural Resources and Geopolitics (CENRG), Washington D.C.: September 21, 2017– January 11, 2018
During his internship at the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security’s Center for Energy, Natural Resources and Geopolitics, Máté’s duties included collecting news articles and analyses; writing briefs and drafts; creating presentations; attending and reporting on conferences and events in lieu of his supervisor mostly on the following topics: the US reaction to the ongoing crisis in Venezuela; European foreign policy towards Ukraine and Kazakhstan; the status and prospects of Ukrainian economy with regards to certain sectors, investment opportunities; possible solutions of the war in Ukraine; Kazakh foreign policy, economy, and development efforts; the Iran nuclear deal; changes in the polity of Saudi Arabia; and US foreign policy towards the Indo-Pacific, especially China. His supervisor, Dr. Ariel Cohen included Máté as a co-author for an opinion piece of his in the prestigious newspaper The Hill’s online edition available here. Máté was also instrumental in helping the Coalition with its preparations for the annual Mikulás Dinner and its Annual and Board Meetings.
“After these four months in Washington DC, I feel that I learnt an incredible lot about the country, the culture, and people in general — creating a strong contrast to my experiences in China. But perhaps even more importantly, I have learned a lot about myself. I feel much more confident, have a realistic picture of what I am able to achieve, and how to work for it.”
Máté Mátyás is currently finishing his graduate studies in public administration at Shanghai Jiao Ting University (Shanghai, China). He also holds an undergraduate degree in international relations from Corvinus University (Budapest, Hungary). He is particularly interested in the international economic architecture, global governance and security policy and China’s economic, foreign and energy policy. Prior to his internship at CENRG, in the spring of 2017, Máté spent an exchange semester abroad at the University of Southern California (Los Angeles, CA) and also participated in the Hungary Initiatives Foundation’s Young Hungarian Leaders Program in Washington, DC.