The primary duties of a program intern of the Salzburg Global Seminar (SGS) are to prepare for sessions, provide administrative support to the program office and serve as host and guide for participants. As a program intern at the SGS secretariat, my job was to assist with seminar organization. I attended pre-session meetings, where I learned how to plan and operate various projects as part of a team, and also helped with post-session work such as organizing results and data from previous sessions and publishing session reports. Hosting SGS participants was an important job required of every intern, but it was at the same time an incredible privilege. It gave me the opportunity to cooperate, communicate, and network with people from a diverse range of backgrounds.
During my three-month internship, I attended 10 different sessions and was the assigned program intern for three: “Future of Public Service: Program Strategy Meeting,” which delved into how those in the public sector can rethink the services they provide to suit a dynamic and rapidly-changing world; “Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators III,” which invited cultural leaders from around the world to examine how to best foster positive and effective change in their communities; and “Rethinking Care toward the End of Life,” which looked at palliative care and posed the fundamental question of whether we are providing the best care possible for those in such extreme situations.
Apart from working on assigned projects, I also participated in the joint symposium “North Korean Defector/Refugees in a Global Context,” which was held at Berlin Free University. As a political science major interested in security issues in the Korean peninsula and the unification process, having the opportunity to take part in discussions with experts who experienced both a divided and unified Germany was truly inspiring.
Although I had clear goals before I came to SGS, I think the months I spent there gave me a whole new perspective. The internship at SGS was an opportunity to share opinions with a wide range of participants from all over the world and broaden my horizons and perspective. By meeting people from fields such as conflict management, human rights, and regional cooperation, I was able to narrow down the area in which I hope to work in the future. I have become interested in issues related to the Korean peninsula, more specifically with the human rights situation in North Korea and the unification process. As such, I am planning to apply to graduate programs that focus on North Korean studies and the German unification process.