The Hungarian American Coalition‘s internship program sponsored eight Hungarian university students’ internships this past year. The Coalition Internship Program (CIP) – recently renamed John N. Lauer Leadership Training Program – 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 from HIF.
About the Program
The John N. Lauer Leadership Training Program (LTP) provides a unique opportunity for English-speaking, well-qualified Hungarians from Hungary, the neighboring countries and the US to get acquainted with the workings of the US government and motivate them for public service in their respective places of origin. The interns learn about how decisions are made in Washington DC, experience a US work environment and obtain first-hand information on the institutions shaping US foreign policy such as the State Department, National Security Council, non-governmental organizations, thinks tanks and foundations.
Placement: Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN), Washington D.C.: March 20 – June 20, 2018
One of Orsolya’s main tasks at GEN was to help with the preparations for the Global Entrepreneurship Congress in Istanbul, Turkey, that gathers together thousands of entrepreneurs, investors, researchers, policymakers and other startup champions from more than 170 countries every year to identify new ways of helping founders start and scale new ventures around the world. She also had to create different world map infographics, representing GEN operations, and partners, and had various research tasks. Orsolya also helped to manage the social media accounts of GEN and its various online platforms, and took several online marketing courses to develop her skills in this field. Apart from her work at GEN, in the beginning of April, she participated in the Young Hungarian Leaders Program (YHLP)organized by Meridian International and the Hungary Foundation (HIF), which led her through a journey starting from the Founding Fathers to the current electoral system. Orsolya was also instrumental in organizing the Coalition’s 2018 Gala Dinnerand Dr. László Brenzovics’s visit.
“My ultimate goal has always been to become an entrepreneur, but before interning at GEN, I never thought about entering the world of startups. I planned to work for a multinational company to gain knowledge. However, after my 3 months spent at GEN, thanks to the CIP, I realized the worth of such organizations and now I know that I would like to be on the other side of the table and help to bring all the benefits home, encouraging entrepreneurs and people with great ideas.”
Orsolya Andrea Lőrincz from Székelyudvarhely, Romania holds an undergraduate degree in Management from University of Babes-Bolyai (Cluj Napoca, Romania) and she currently pursues graduate studies in International Business Management at the same university. Orsolya also spent a semester at International Business Academy (Kolding, Denmark) as an exchange student in the International Marketing study program. In the summer of 2016, she did an internship at Saatchi & Saatchi international marketing agency in Budapest, Hungary. She has also been a volunteer at the Civitas Foundation for Civil Society since 2011, which supports rural and regional communities and helps them in developing through entrepreneurship. Orsolya is interested in international marketing, entrepreneurship and minority policy.
Placement: Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA), Washington D.C.: March 21 – July 24, 2018
Viktória’s major task at CEPA was to provide background information to the experts at CEPA in connection with their current study or publication. Viktória was usually assigned to conduct research on a given topic, examine the issue and conclude her assessments and findings in a memo. Her research tasks were mainly focused on Europe’s energy strategy on a political and economic level, so she greatly increased her knowledge about energy policies and regulations. Her other tasks included assisting in organizing and managing events; administering social media (mostly Twitter) and administrative tasks. Apart from her work at CEPA, in the beginning of April, she participated in the Young Hungarian Leaders Program (YHLP) organized by Meridian International and the Hungary Foundation (HIF), which led her through a journey starting from the Founding Fathers to the current electoral system. Viktória was also instrumental in organizing the Coalition’s 2018 Gala Dinnerand Dr. László Brenzovics’s visit.
“This internship provided the opportunity to interact with U.S. and European policymakers, analysts and thinkers as well as the vibrant Hungarian American community in D.C. Working at CEPA and being involved in several Hungarian events organized by the Hungarian American organizations enabled me to get to know a lot of people, which is a substantial network for the future. In general, I gained a different mindset, and learned how to think outside of the box in a very innovative and creative way, which I consider as one of the major accomplishments of the internship program.”
Viktória Katona finished her graduate studies at Eötvös Loránd University, Faculty of Law in Budapest, Hungary, in February 2018, and graduated summa cum laude as a Juris Doctor. In 2016, she also spent one semester at National University of Ireland Galway, and in 2015 she completed a summer law school on International Trade Law at Yaşar University in Izmir, Turkey. To supplement her theoretical knowledge with practical experience, Viktória was a trainee at two different international law firms, Nagy & Trócsányi Law Firm in 2015 and DLA Piper Law Firm in 2018. During her active public work at the university, which was mainly focused on cultivating and expanding international relations, she was Vice-President for Foreign Affairs of the Student Union at the Department, and she was President of the Erasmus Student Network at the Faculty. Furthermore, she served as a demonstrator at the Department of International Law of her university.
Placement: Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA), Washington D.C.: May 23 – September 4, 2018
Tatjána’s responsibilities at CEPA mainly focused on research of various topics: she had to monitor the news and studies on the Nord Stream 2 project, focusing on statements of the Russian and the German governments; conduct research on the effects of Russian propaganda and disinformation and finding strategies to combat them; search for Russian language media that is popular among the Russian citizens; compile news on a weekly basis related to the energy sector of Ukraine, among others. Apart from her work at CEPA, Tatjána also got involved with some projects of the local Hungarian American community: she helped the Kossuth House’s activity by updating the online catalogue of the Hungarian library and by searching possible grants for the organization; and participated in the 3rdannual Saint Stephen of Hungary Pilgrimage to the Our Lady of Hungary chapel organized by the American Hungarian Heritage House. She also helped the Coalition’s work by preparing reports related to Ukraine’s new Law on Education.
“I had many opportunities to attend different official events, conferences and round table discussions in Washington DC. The topics varied, I mostly attended events related to security policy, and discussions in connection with energy policy. I appreciate that I was able to get first-hand experience about these important issues, and I am certain that I will be able to use this knowledge at my work in Hungary.”
Tatjána Turányi holds a graduate degree in Political Science from the National University of Uzhhorod (Uzhhorod, Ukraine) and now she is pursuing a PhD at Eötvös Loránd University’s Doctoral School of Social Sciences (Budapest, Hungary) researching the time-usage dimensions and habits of Hungarian minority in Transcarpathia. Tatjána is originally from Orosijevo, a small town in Transcarpathia, Ukraine. Currently, Tatjána is working as an office manager for Enersense Hungary Ltd., a Finnish recruitment and resource management company, specialized in industrial projects in Budapest, Hungary. Tatjána is also Vice President of Momentum Doctorandus, an organization of Hungarian PhD Students from Transcarpathia in Berehove, Ukraine and an editor of Scientia Denique, a scientific journal published by Association of Hungarian Students and Young Researchers of Transcarpathia.
Placement: Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN), Washington D.C.: July 2 – November 11, 2018
During the 4 months period, Nikolett’s main tasks at GEN were assisting Jonathan Ortmans, President of GEN with various short-term projects; assistance in creating social media campaigns for GEW and GEW USA; assisting in the creation of a communications plan for GEW USA and theme blog posts. Nikolett also had the opportunity to get tasks in her fields of interest like User Experience Design, and learning new skills like using Adobe Photoshop. Apart from her work at GEN, Nikolett also took part in organizing two bigger events: she assisted in the preparations for the conference entitled “Carl Lutz: Righteous Among the Nations”hosted by George Washington University’s Elliot School of International Affairs and co-sponsored by the Coalition; and she also traveled to Atlanta for one week and helped Coalition President Andrea Lauer Rice with organizing the 5thAtlanta Hungarian Festival.
“Working abroad is always a big benefit for a career path. It helps to stand out of the crowd, because international work experience is much more valuable. I could learn new working methods, share ideas and improve my skills which made me a better professional. I could also develop my ability to integrate into a different, cross-cultural working environment, pick up the thread and be an equal part of a team. I managed to evolve my oral and writing skills, technical knowledge. I am thankful that I was entrusted with various responsibilities including different communication, marketing and design tasks.”
Nikolett Nagy holds an undergraduate degree in Political Science from Eötvös Loránd University (Budapest, Hungary) and a graduate degree in Communication and Media Studies from Budapest University of Technology and Economics (Budapest, Hungary). She also spent a semester as an exchange student at the University of Bologna, School of Economics, Management and Statistics (Bologna, Italy). Alongside her university studies, Nikolett was working for advertising companies in Budapest (Friendly Advertising Group, Popgroup Advertising Agency, Saatchi & Saatchi Advertising) as a creative writer. Since last year, she works as a freelance communication and project manager, currently for a Hungarian startup that builds chat robots.
Placement: Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA), Washington D.C.: September 18 – December 17, 2018
Right on her first week, Annamária 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 10th CEPA Forum that took place on September 24, 2018. Annamária’s responsibilities at CEPA mainly focused on research of various topics, including Nord Stream 2 and Nordic countries; defense budgets of the NATO member states; and the coherence of the Alliance, among others. Annamária also had the chance to contribute to CEPA’s internal newsletter; attend public hearings, and participate in several roundtable discussions or seminars. Annamária was also instrumental in helping the Coalition with its preparations for the annual Mikulás Dinner and its Annual and Board Meetings.
“Participating in the program and working at CEPA gave me a once in a lifetime experience. I could not only gain insight in the inner structure and processes of a well-established research institute, but it also contributed to my professional as well as personal development. Learning about new perspectives, deepening my knowledge and familiarizing myself with new research techniques will definitely help me in my future professional endeavors, while having a chance to be a part of Washington, DC’s lively scientific and cultural scene made me more ambitious and determined. Meeting with the Hungarian-American community was also unique experience, as it gave me an understanding about the diaspora’s aims and point of views.”
Annamária Kránicz holds an undergraduate degree in International Relations from Corvinus University Budapest (Budapest, Hungary) and now she is pursuing graduate studies in International Security and Defense Policy at the National University of Public Service (Budapest, Hungary). Annamária also spent a semester as an exchange student at Dublin City University (Dublin, Ireland). Throughout her university studies, Annamária aimed to supplement her theoretical knowledge with practical experience, so she interned at the Protocol Section of the U.S. Embassy in Budapest, and she was a research assistant at the Kopint-Tárki Institute for Economic Research (Budapest, Hungary), among others. Currently she is a research intern at the Institute of Foreign Affairs and Trade focusing on the national security strategy of the U.S. supervised by leading Hungarian experts on the topic. Annamária is interested in the American political system and the foreign and defense policy of the U.S.
Placement: International Tax and Investment Center’s (ITIC) Energy Growth and Security (EGS) Program, Washington D.C.: October 3 – December 17, 2018
During his internship at the International Tax and Investment Center’s (ITIC) Energy Growth and Security (EGS) Program, Balázs’s main duties included working on high-level research projects, preparing research briefs, providing literature reviews, talking points, and draft presentation while reporting to the senior staff. Balázs’s internship particularly focused on programs and projects dealing with international energy policy and markets. His other duties included developing and organizing conferences, workshops, panel discussions, and other events; participating long-term projects; supporting bids for new projects; as well as scheduling and administrative support. His supervisor, Dr. Ariel Cohen included Balázs as a contributor to his article on Germany’s First LNG Terminal in the prestigious business magazine Forbes’ online edition available here. Balázs was also instrumental in helping the Coalition with its preparations for the annual Mikulás Dinner and its Annual and Board Meetings.
“My time in Washington was a particularly rewarding experience that contributed a lot to how I see the world and my future in it both professionally and personally. ITIC as a workplace was a perfect match for me. While allowing me to broaden my horizons with regards to infrastructure investments across Eurasia, it also helped me acquire a thorough understanding of energy markets. I am particularly grateful to both ITIC and HAC for helping me understand Washington D.C. itself: how all of its ‘elements’ such as government agencies, international organizations, a myriad of NGOs and think tanks interact and cooperate with each other.”
Balázs Kiss holds an undergraduate degree in International Relations from Corvinus University (Budapest, Hungary) and now he is pursuing graduate studies in International Public Management at Sciences Po (Paris, France). Balázs is also a member of Mathias Corvinus Collegium’s (MCC) Leadership Program. Throughout his university studies, Balázs aimed to supplement his theoretical knowledge with practical experience, so he interned at the Public Affairs Section of the U.S. Embassy in Budapest, and he was a consultant of Globono Paris, working for ACTED, the second biggest French NGO. Currently, Balázs is a writer and editor covering East-Asian and European affairs at The Policy Corner, a Berlin-based platform for students and young professionals to publish research-based and peer-reviewed articles with policy recommendations on global issues.
Placement: Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN), Washington D.C.: October 1, 2018– February 4, 2019
One of Liza’s main aims was to conduct research for her thesis on Consumer Acculturation, which is in close relation with travel, migration and change of cultural environment and cultural identity. At GEN, Liza was responsible for assisting with various projects, especially Global Startup Huddle, a program designed to educate, engage, and connect entrepreneurs. Her other duties included assisting Jonathan Ortmans, President of GEN with various short-term projects and research tasks; managing GEW USA’s Twitter page; drafting blog posts and assisting in organizing and managing events. Liza also had the chance to participate in overseeing Global Entrepreneurship Week 2018 between November 12-18. As for the Hungarian-American community, Liza was instrumental in helping the Coalition with its preparations for the annual Mikulás Dinner and its Annual and Board Meetings.
“The Coalition Internship Program gave me an amazing opportunity to understand the processes of the American work environment and a chance to test myself and my knowledge participating in real projects with real colleagues. I consider myself extremely lucky to gain such experience which gave me tremendous motivation to succeed at building my future.”
Liza Eleonóra Borovoj is an undergraduate student studying Commerce and Marketing at Corvinus University of Budapest (Budapest, Hungary). Liza was an active member of the organizing team of Budapest International Model United Nations – BIMUN and currently she is member of the marketing team of her university’s student organization.
Placement: Institute for Governance and Sustainable Development (IGSD), Washington D.C.: November 14, 2018 – March 6, 2019
Konrád’s work at IGSD included website and social media platforms 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. Konrád was also instrumental in helping the Coalition with its preparations for the annual Mikulás Dinner and its Annual and Board Meetings.
“As a communication intern at IGSD, I was part of a lively and energetic group of people dedicated to environmental protection. The aim of the organization is to help avoid the adverse effects of global warming by phasing out short-lived climate pollutants which are just as harmful to our lives as, for example, carbon dioxide. I learnt a lot about how to communicate this very important and also urgent cause to wider audiences and I believe that I can build on this knowledge in my future. Apart from work I had plenty of time to explore the city and get to know the Hungarian community.”
Konrád Ferenczy holds an undergraduate degree in International Relations from Corvinus University (Budapest, Hungary). Throughout his university studies, Konrád aimed to supplement his theoretical knowledge with practical experience: he interned at the Department responsible for European Affairs at the Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (Budapest, Hungary); he worked as a Human Rights Education trainee at Amnesty International Hungary (Budapest, Hungary); and he was a Public Relations and Communication intern at WWF Hungary (Budapest, Hungary). Prior to his internship at IGSD, Konrád worked for PriceWaterhouseCoopers Auditing Ltd. (PwC) as a training coordinator. Konrád is interested in European affairs, human rights, environmental protection, sustainable development and public relations.
Since the implementation of the expanded CIP, 49 students have been sponsored in Washington DC, Baltimore, Boston and New York. This customized program is crucial to the future of the Hungarian American community and the impressive network of young Hungarians who make an immediate and substantive impact in their home countries. The interns build close relations in the US in their professional areas of expertise, and forge strong ties to the Hungarian American community.