Summer lov’UN, hav’UN a blast…….(okay, okay, I’m done….)

Well hello again…

Hard to believe, but since my last post Spring Break has come and gone and Spring Quarter is now underway. One week off to enjoy the mountains of Colorado (skiing in 70 degree weather is something special indeed), indulge in various Denver foodie delights, test out our magnificent Olympic-sized swimming pool here at the rec centre (resolved to use it once or twice a week at least now…), hike to the Royal Arch in beautiful Boulder with the world’s toughest Corgi, and watch incredibly fit people use the Red Rocks amphitheatre as their own personal gym (think vertical jogging with a view over hundreds of miles of stunning Colorado).

Suki visits Red Rocks. Is most impressed by natural rock formation turned epic amphitheatre.

Such indulgences have kept me busy and away from the interwebs. Nevertheless… here’s a summary of the latest and greatest Korbel-related news. Well…MY latest and greatest Korbel news. This is a vanity project after all. Pff.

• If you are coming to the Discover Korbel event on Thursday I will be on the panel and can answer any and all of your GFTEI-related questions! Or at least I can try. However, must warn you that I am more used to being the one asking the questions, than being on the receiving end of the interview, so don’t eat me alive… 😛

• Fantastic news has cometh my way, which, now that the two week window has passed within which I could potentially jinx and scupper this stupendous development, I can now share: A summer internship from the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean. After applying to three of their offices in the Caribbean, DC and Latin America, I will be heading to Trinidad in the southern Caribbean for three months to take work with this agency of the UN at their sub-regional headquarters which is located there. UN ECLAC was actually my number one choice for an internship this summer, so to say I feel fortunate is a major understatement. As a bit of background, ECLAC, which is headquartered in Santiago, Chile, is focused on promoting the economic and social development of the Latin American and Caribbean region. It does this through the production and analysis of data on economic and social trends and phenomena, and recommendations on policy action and cooperation within the region. Some of their recent publications include reports on how climate change is projected to impact the economies of the Caribbean, progress on gender equality, poverty reduction and the Millennium Goals and the potential for Creative Industries to become a new avenue for exports and growth for the Caribbean. I have been told my internship will involve “analysis of the macroeconomic performance of Caribbean economies, sector studies including the financial sector, trade and development issues and the collection and organisation of statistics.” Call me a major geek, but I find this pretty exciting…

Right now I am busy looking at accommodation options in Port of Spain. Although not finding anything particularly cheap, I am consoling myself that at least it cannot be as expensive as living in DC. Plus I will be getting more experience in the region where I hope to focus my expertise in the future. Like I said, feeling incredibly fortunate right now to be finding myself in a position to be offered these kinds of opportunities, and I have no doubt that my Masters at Korbel is a major factor in that. I’m looking forward to writing more about my experience at UN ECLAC and in Trinidad over the Summer, particularly since there seems to be a surprising dearth of online commentary about what the life of an intern at the UN is really like.

• As per usual, the past weeks have included visits to Korbel by high profile people with insights to share with Korbel students, such as Mexican Ambassador to the US, Arturo Sarukhan. Sarukhan, a very charismatic diplomat (ok, fine, I think I have a crush on him) talked about the state of US-Mexico relations, including the five strategic foci of the bilateral relationship that he stresses must be maintained even beyond the presidential elections that will take place in Mexico and the US this year. Among a variety of points, Sarukhan called on the US to do more to stop the flow of illegal guns and billions of dollars of cash across the Mexican border that is inflaming the ultra-violent drug war that has been boiling over below the border for the last five years. Whilst declining diplomatically to quantify the significance of illegal US-bought weapons in the levels of violence being seen in Mexico, Sarukhan said the government is convinced the vast majority of violent incidents in his country are committed using such weapons, and that the occurrence of assault weapons in gun battles has sky-rocketed since the Assault Weapons Ban enacted by President Clinton “expired” in 2004. As a consequence, Mexico has to “bring out the army” to deal with gangsters, as the police simply do not have the fire power to take them on. Help Mexico have the opportunity to deploy its resources in a better way, pleaded Sarukhan, and Mexico will continue to do its part to stop the flow of drugs into the US.

Ambassador Sarukhan with the Korbel school Latin American Studies Association.

• But the fun does not end there…This month will bring none less than the Prime Minister of Kosovo, the Russian Ambassador to the UN, Vitaly Churkin (recently making a name for himself vetoing action against Syria – and likely to elicit some tough questions from his Korbel audience), former Secretaries of State Condoleeza Rice (also a Korbel alum) and Madeleine Albright (after whose father the Korbel school is named). Dean of the Korbel School, former US Ambassador to Iraq, Dean Hill, definitely seems to have some major pull! (He is also teaching a class this quarter, which I would have loved to have taken could I bring myself to pass up some of the more GFTEI-relevant classes I needed to take this quarter).

On that note, this quarter I am taking Statistics III (not a requirement, but having triumphed over Stats I and II, I feel ready to take on this hopefully worthwhile challenge), Econometrics I (a requirement, which I anticipate will serve me well in my summer internship) and Capital Markets in Africa. Little tip: If you are interested in finding out in any more detail about any of these or any other courses you might end up taking at Korbel, just visit https://portfolio.du.edu/pc/port?portfolio=issta and click on “Syllabi”.

Come and say hi if you are coming to Discover Korbel!

Skiing at Winter Park on a beautiful March day with powdery snow and temperatures in the 70s. That's right. Spring break has been good to me.

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Posted on March 26, 2012, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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