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Parker Ball
Internship Year 2018

Penn State University School of International Affair
Master of International Affairs Candidate 2019

My experience interning with the U.S. Commercial Service in Bangkok, Thailand was everything that I hoped it would be. After researching many different internship opportunities for international affairs students, I felt that an internship with the Commercial Service would be best fitting with my concentration in international business and economics. Having served as a Marine in Bangkok from 2013 to 2015, I decided that coming back to Bangkok would be beneficial and would allow me to gain knowledge on Thailand’s business market as well as see the opportunities available for U.S. companies in Thailand.

During the three months, I not only learned about the market and the various opportunities available, but I also was able to work in many different capacities. As an intern, I conducted market and product research for companies interested in operating in Thailand. Additionally, I worked on memos published to the Ambassador and weekly highlights published to Headquarters in D.C. Outside of those administrative roles, I was allowed to attend meetings with the Commercial Specialists and Assistants as they met with U.S. companies, which gave me great insight on the roles and functions of the Commercial Service. I was also fortunate to work large events at the Embassy and the Ambassador’s residence which hosted high ranking officers, distinguished diplomats, and various leaders in innovation and technology.

The contacts and relationships I made through this internship were invaluable as I met Presidents and CEOs of U.S. and Thai companies as well as high ranking government officials. The Commercial Officers, Specialists, and Assistants that I worked with really made my overall experience what it was. Each of them educated me on their day to day functions and were patient with me on my assigned projects which aided in my overall growth. Our office consisted of two American Foreign Commercial Officers, eleven Thai Specialists and Assistants, two Thai interns, and two American interns. This office dynamic added much value to the internship as it allowed me to interact with Thais in a work environment, increase my Thai language, and overall build genuine relationships.

I am very grateful for this amazing experience with the U.S. Commercial Service in Bangkok and would highly recommend it for anyone seeking an internship in international affairs, business, economics, or a related field.

Nuttanicha Payne (Nikki)
Internship Year 2017

Bachelor of Arts in Economics
Lawrence University

I am an undergraduate student at Lawrence University in Wisconsin majoring in Economics and an interdisciplinary in Innovation and Entrepreneurship. As I am getting close to the end of my undergraduate years, I was looking for opportunities to gain an insight in life after college and expand my knowledge in fields of my interests.

I was looking for an internship opportunity in Thailand, while my plan was to spend my summer in Bangkok. It took me a great amount of time looking for the right internship. Luckily, I found an internship opportunity with the Commercial Section at the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok. After hours of researching the Commercial Section’s role at the embassy, I got intrigued by how they operate and how I could gain a huge amount of experience from the Student Intern Program.

Beyond my expectations, I learned a lot from being a part of the Commercial Section throughout two months of my internship. I had many assigned tasks but the most challenging one was to handle a new project that required writing up-to-date market intelligence in different sectors. It was not easy to be working on a newly introduced project but with the help of all the specialists we were able to finish the project successfully. I also attended meetings with Thai and American entrepreneurs, organizations, and corporations. My supervisor also provided me with the experience of being a part of social networking and attending a seminar with top-notch corporations that are based in Thailand.

The opportunity to be a part of the Commercial Section team was very enlightening and helpful to my future career path. I enjoyed every moment being employed with this department, where I felt welcomed by everyone. The experience and skills that I have gained from this program was priceless. If this program is under your field of interest, I highly encourage you to apply for this program. This program will enhance your knowledge and skills.

I am very grateful for the opportunity and the unforgettable experience.

Kitsada Vitidladda

Internship Year 2017

Faculty of Economics
Kasetsart University, Bangkok

I was an undergraduate at the Faculty of Economics, Kasetsart University in Bangkok, Thailand when I was looking for an internship to gain valuable experience in international business. Then, I came across an internship opportunity at the Commercial Section (Foreign Commercial Service), the U.S. Embassy Bangkok.

Before the internship started, I had only expected to get a glance of how the real business is, but what I truly received was far beyond my expectation. During the internship, I had such priceless opportunities to work closely with an experienced commercial specialist team in Thailand. All of them were friendly, open-minded, and willing to share their knowledge and insights with me throughout the internship program as well as guiding me how to accomplish my assigned projects, when I came across obstructions. On top of that, I also had a chance to work and communicate with American businessmen and entrepreneurs.

In terms of scope of work and responsibilities, I was well trusted by my team members to assist them in a wide range of works supporting the Commercial Section’s core program and services. I conducted market research, handling tele-marketing, writing reports, and created presentation. Above all of these, the most worthwhile experience to me is on-the-job training when I joined the commercial specialists on their field work outside the office working closely with clients from the U.S. and Thailand on market entry, trade partners matchmakings, and finding prospects for U.S. products and services. The training broadened my perspective as well as knowledge toward business in the real world.

All in all, I was more than appreciated to have the two-month internship here. The commercial section led me a big step closer to my dream. I am so honored to be a student intern here.

It is such a memorable experiences for me.

Note: For Thai national students who are interested to intern at the Commercial Section, please follow U.S. Embassy Bangkok web site for program and application process and forms. https://th.usembassy.gov/embassy-consulate/jobs/other-programs/internship-program/

Alexander Blamberg

Internship Year 2013

Master of International Affairs,

Degree Candidate 2014
Columbia University | School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA)

While looking to find a summer internship to fulfill my graduation requirement as a Master of International Affairs Candidate at SIPA, a classmate informed me of a unique opportunity to work for the overseas trade promotion arm of the U.S. government. Having a keen interest in international trade and public service, I was intrigued. As I navigated through the U.S. Foreign Commercial Service (FCS) internship website in the Lehman Library on a cold February afternoon, I soon realized that FCS had offices in over 60 countries, each with its own unique internship program. So the question remained: Where to go? And then it hit me: Thailand.

Why Thailand? I had spent most of my pre-graduate school years working in Asia, often quite closely with colleagues in the ASEAN countries. I had seen first-hand the rapid development taking place in Southeast Asia as well as the potential for future growth. In my opinion, it is one of the most dynamic regions in the world. In the international trade arena, Southeast Asia is front-and-center, with regard to both the Trans-Pacific Partnership and ASEAN Economic Community integration in 2015. While ongoing reforms in neighboring Myanmar have huge implications for global economic relations, Thailand continues to be a driving force. The choice was easy.

As an intern at the Foreign Commercial Service in Bangkok, I had many responsibilities in FCS Bangkok’s four markets—Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, and Myanmar (Burma). One of my greatest tasks was updating the Doing Business in Burma guide, one of the flagship publications at FCS. For the guide, I extensively researched all aspects of the Burmese export climate, from trade regulations to banking reform to due diligence processes. It was a fascinating exercise to examine a country in the throes of such massive reforms. It was also an interesting counterpoint to my work on Thailand, a country that has climbed to middle-income status and now struggles with moving up the value-added chain of global production. On behalf of U.S. firms, I monitored the Thai market for business opportunities in niche fields such as education, IT, innovation, and sustainability. In particular, I searched for ways U.S. firms might tap into the booming arena of social media marketing in Thailand.

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Internship Year 2010
Webster University: Masters Business Administration; Study Abroad Webster University Thailand

Southern Illinois University- Edwardsville

BS in Business Administration

Interning with the U.S. Commercial Service in Bangkok was an incredible and unforgettable experience. This internship really allowed hands-on learning from the first day with the guidance of an extremely knowledgeable and talented staff. I gained exposure to a wide variety of issues and aspects of U.S. international commercial activities.

The Commercial Specialists and Senior Commercial Officers make it a point to include the interns as part of their team. I was frequently invited to meetings between U.S. and Thai companies. In one of my most memorable weeks as an intern, I attended a meeting between an American entrepreneur and the Thai Department of Corrections, assisted in making contacts at a the Bangkok International Fashion and Fair, and attended a breakfast meeting with my Missouri Senator (who happened to be in Thailand). At other times, I assisted with proofreading, developing presentations and market research.

My internship went beyond a great employment experience, many of my colleagues went the extra step to make me feel welcome and share their culture. With their guidance, I was able to see, taste and understand much of Thailand that I may have otherwise missed out on.

The opportunity to work for the U.S. Commercial Service alongside Thais and Americans was, by far, a priceless experience. I would recommend this opportunity for graduates to gain government experience, international business exposure and professional development.

I am very thankful for the opportunity.

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