During these three months, I have ended up in a few situations that are so quintessentially "DC" that I don't think I could have experienced them anywhere but here.
Last October I was looking to stay in Helsinki for the foreseeable future and keep busy with my graduate studies. In fact, I had just spent the first half of 2017 studying in Ohio, so it made a lot of sense to stay in Finland for a while – financially as well as socially. All my loved ones had just gotten used to the sight of my face again and I really enjoyed being reunited with them as well.
However, when I noticed that the Embassy of Finland in Washington D.C. was seeking a Communications Intern, I had no choice but to apply. It was the coolest internship opportunity I could have imagined, given that I am majoring in Communications and fascinated by both American politics and nation branding. Doubtful that I had a shot, a few of weeks later I was ecstatic to get the email – I would spend the following spring in Washington!
At this point, there was no escaping the fact that I have a serious soft spot for America, if six months was a long enough break till I could make my grand return. Although coming back so soon wasn't something I had envisioned, I'm glad that life threw this surprise in my way, because my internship has been a phenomenal experience.
During these three months, I have ended up in a few situations that are so quintessentially "DC" that I don't think I could have experienced them anywhere but here. Had I stayed in Finland, I wouldn't have had the chance to organize press meetings for Finnish journalists and ministers, let alone be present at a confirmation hearing where Tim Kaine and other well-known senators speak. Along with my fellow interns, we also got to tour the East Wing of the White House, which I never thought I could do.
Although an intern's life in Washington is not all glitz and glamour, I've had a lot of fun here even with the more routine tasks. In my work I've been able to write a lot – which I enjoy greatly – and manage our social media as well as assist with various events that we organize here at the embassy. As tacky as it sounds, the people have really been the best part of this all. Our entire staff has made me feel right at home since the beginning and I've also become good friends with my fellow interns.
As sad as I am about leaving this place behind, I'm convinced that this won't be my last time in the United States. It's really just a matter of when. And as was the case last time, it might come sooner than I could now expect.
Text and photos: Taru Inkinen, Communications Intern