Works and Days

Frankfurt Consulate Public Affairs Internship, McGill Lawrence Internship Award, Nicole Thompson

Nicole Thompson ’16, political science-ICPS major, received the McGill Lawrence Summer Internship Award to work in Geneva as a member of the Frankfurt consulate's Public Affairs team.

It is comically difficult to summarize the events of this summer into a short and legible blog post. Perhaps that is the best way to summarize this adventure.

When I accepted the McGill-Lawrence award, my plan was to work for the US Consulate in Frankfurt, Germany. Two weeks before my departure I was notified that issues with my security clearance meant this was a no-go. Three days later, thanks to the grace of some higher power and the inhuman prowess of our own Brooke Hunter, I had secured a position in Geneva with the WHO. The next morning I received an email congratulating me on my approved security clearance and welcoming me to the Frankfurt consulate's Public Affairs team.


Within a week of my arrival I was attending events with the US ambassador to Germany, found myself taking pictures and running social media for the consulate. I have written speeches, translated documents, and researched political figures to create bios. I have learned much more about TTIP (the Transatlantic Trade and Industry Partnership) than is truly fair, and have designed the groundworks for an advertising campaign to support the trade agreement.

Working in PA has been both utterly fast-paced and truly rewarding. Instead of filing or shredding or getting coffee, I do work that affects the diplomatic relationship between the US and Germany. True, I once helped the ambassador to wipe rhinoceros snot off of his leg during a zoo visit — yet, as far as internships go, I still feel pretty ahead of the game.

I have increased my understanding of German, visited many new places, gotten a handle on the European political climate, and helped to keep the US general consulate in Frankfurt running. Most importantly, however, I feel that I have done good. I have been able to use my position to promote issues that matter to me, and to inspire conversation. I have spoken to German students about politics, and even taught them what gerrymandering means! I helped to welcome the outreach coordinator from the Southern Poverty Law Center for a lecture on the Black Lives Matter movement. I have also learned about my own goals and dreams for the future.


This job has taught me that I can actually pursue a job focused on positive change and growth -- that I can make my passion for community service the focal point of my career. And so, at the end of this summer, I will return home with quite a number of new experiences under my belt — along with the knowledge that I have helped in small but integral ways to make changes in the world around me, and the drive to pursue even more rewarding work in my future career


Tags: mcgill lawrence, internship, summer, world health organization, public affairs, international, diplomacy, politics