150 Hours at the U.S. Mission to the U.N.

page01By Tela Wittig
Staff Writer

Walking around campus on the first few days, there was a constant murmur of, “Hey, how was your summer?” from reunited friends. In case you didn’t get a chance to ask Madeleine Hillyer what she was up to this summer, we did so we could share it with the Diplomacy community in the Envoy’s new internship feature, 120 Hours.

Madeleine spent her summer as an intern with the press department of the United States Mission to the United Nations. Here’s a brief overview of her experience:

The Application Process

According to Madeleine, the application process for this internship was fairly standard, albeit a bit lengthy. She submitted an application last October for a summer internship, and the application required a few simple essay questions and a résumé. She received a phone interview in December, and was shortly offered a position. The part of the process that Madeleine described as a little harder was the clearance process. In order to work in the building, she was required to have security clearance, the process of which required multiple steps.

Intern Responsibilities

As a press intern, Madeleine had two main responsibilities on a daily basis. The first was media monitoring, which included watching and reading news stories and directing them to officers based on their regions of specialty and assignments. In this capacity, she felt that she had a real role in making sure that foreign and civil service officers were up to date on current events.

Her second daily responsibility was to provide official transcripts of ambassadors’  remarks. At the end of the summer, Madeleine was tasked with planning a panel discussion for media interns in New York.

The Best Part

Every few weeks throughout the summer, interns were invited to “brownbag lunches,” where interns had an opportunity to sit down with executives, foreign and civil service officers and ask questions about working at the mission.

Madeleine said that she would definitely recommend this internship to other Diplomacy students, particularly those interested in the field of journalism. She said the one thing she wishes she had known beforehand is how welcoming everyone at the mission would be, so that she could have been a little more confident when she started.


Internships in this division  of the U.S. Department of State are available only to students who have completed their sophomore year or higher.


To read more about Madeleine’s experience, visit the School’s Practicing Diplomacy blog.

Tela Wittig

TELA WITTIG is a freshman in the School of Diplomacy working towards a degree in Diplomacy with minors in Modern Languages and Criminal Justice. She is from Ithaca, New York. After college, she hopes to work with the United Nations or the State Department to help facilitate peace in the Middle East. She is a member of SHUNA, Stand Up Be Loud, Alpha Phi International Fraternity, Rotaract Club, and the Student Alumni Association. Contact Tela at tela.wittig@student.shu.edu.

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