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Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars - Internship
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Takako Inada

Takako Inada

Major: International Politics, Specialization International Relations
Minor: Political Science
Hometown: Nagoya, Japan

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

I am mainly working for a visiting scholar at the Wilson Center. He has previously served as the Washington bureau chief for the Financial Times, as well as Beijing bureau chief and Shanghai correspondent, and he is particularly interested in the relationships between East Asian countries and the U.S. Right now, he is working on a book about the development (or deterioration) of Sino-Japanese relations from 1962, and specifically the role that the U.S. has played in their relationship. Consequently, my job is to read various documents in Japanese and Chinese and summarize or do some translation for him, or write a report on the specific topics that he assigns me to research.

"After this internship, I am now quite certain that I want to pursue a career related to global human rights and humanitarian issues."

How did this experience impact you academically?

The experiences at the Wilson Center is very beneficial to my future studies and career for a variety of reasons. First, I've learned how to make use of the Library of Congress databases, which is the largest library in the whole world. This would help me with my future research for my assignments from school as well as my senior thesis. Also, I've had the opportunity to deepen my understanding of international relations through my internship at the Wilson Center. At the organization, I've had the opportunity to participate in various events (mostly panels) held by experts of international affairs almost every single day. This has allowed me to learn more about contemporary international issues and to appreciate different perspectives.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

I have always been interested in the field of international relations but I was not completely sure what I wanted to do with my degree. After this internship, I am now quite certain that I want to pursue a career related to global human rights and humanitarian issues. I would like to make a difference in the lives of people who are suffering from those problems. This internship allowed me to realize how passionate I am about these specific issues.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would definitely recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students because even if you are not majoring in international politics, you can still learn a lot of things that could be useful in your later studies since the topics discussed at the Wilson Center are very broad. For instance, you could focus on economic or national security events, or other subjects in which you may be interested. Internships at the Wilson Center provide students with opportunities to learn more about a field of interest and to apply these lessons towards their future studies and careers.

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