September 1, 2016

Working for the Haitian Consulate

by Celine Etienne, class of 2016

celine-etienneI was born and raised in Haiti, and my interest in international studies as a field of study goes back to high school, when the subjects that most interested me were history, geography, and social sciences.

The search for the right institution for my capstone internship experience1 involved a long process of writing a cover letter, updating my CV and sending out multiple applications. I was looking for a place dedicated to my area of interest. Therefore, getting an internship at the Haitian consulate in New York was a great fit. The internship at the Haitian consulate matched both my career interests as well as the content covered in Adelphi’s International Studies program.

In fact, the internship was a beneficial experience; carrying out different tasks and observing the way daily work is done at the consulate helped me to gain professional knowledge about the way the Haitian Consulate operates. During the internship, I assisted the consulate on their daily work, data entry, and translating documents, which helped me a lot for my French Translation Techniques class! These translations were a rewarding experience because not only did they help me improve my English vocabulary but also my French and Creole ones, especially in the domain of cultural international relations.

The internship was also an opportunity to get experience in drafting formal translations by paying attention to the greetings and diplomatic forms of address used with different political figures depending on their rank and office, a point which has to do with cultural difference between French and English that must be carefully considered to avoid any diplomatic misinterpretations and serious etiquette errors.

I also performed general office duties such as filling, photocopying, and answering the phone. Besides day-to-day activities, I had the chance to attend cultural events, panel discussions, and presentations. These opportunities led me to identify areas of common interest between the state and individual citizens. The internship in general was a very positive learning experience for me and helped to reinforce my choice of career; I had a great opportunity to develop my skills and learn new ones, making it a valuable experience for further work in cultural international affairs missions abroad.

1 As part of the International Studies major, student complete a capstone experience, either a thesis or an Internship. – Ed.

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