The first edition of the Transatlantic Internship Program was organized in the summer of 2016. Five Polish students were selected to undertake internships in the U.S. Congress and the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Three interns were selected by the staffers in the Washington offices of the following Members of Congress: Grażyna Meller was an intern in the office of Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH), Aleksandra Gajewska in the office of Rep. Peter Roskam (R-IL), and Wiktor Rybicki in the office of Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-IL). Concurrently, two candidates were selected for an internship in the UK House of Commons: Krzysztof Juruś was an intern in the office of Tom Brake MP (Lib Dem) and Michał Chajdukowski in the office of Daniel Kawczynski MP (Con). 

Each intern worked as part of the Member’s legislative team assisting the office staff with their daily responsibilities. The interns carried out administrative tasks, conducted legal research, participated in the committee meetings and staff briefings and learned about the Bills and issues important to their respective Member’s constituents. They were also uniquely placed to provide a valuable perspective on transatlantic and Poland-related issues.

In addition to their office job, the interns had the opportunity to participate in extra-curricular meetings. During their internships, our scholars had a chance to, among others:

• Discuss possible solutions to the problems of developing countries with Claire Davanne of The World Bank
• Exchange views with Pierre Shepherd from the Campaign (London)
• See the Polish-U.S relations from both sides with John Grondelski from the Polish Desk at the U.S State Department
• Discuss global politics and effectiveness of defence policies with Ian Brzezinski from the Atlantic Council
• Participate in Professor Stiglitz’s lecture organized by the World Bank, where he presented his theory about the weakness of the Eurozone
• Visit Boeing’s Assembly Site in Charleston and discover how the decisions of the government influence private sector at Boeing’s Government Operations Office

All of the alumni speak highly of the program, emphasising how it challenged them both professionally and personally. In their closing reports, the alumni write about the lessons learned: how they were able to develop new skills, meet inspiring people and contribute something of their own. They all acknowledge that the program broadened their horizons, sometimes presenting them with entirely new perspectives and abilities to grow. 

The Transatlantic Future Leaders Forum aims to provide a unique experience for exceptionally gifted youth leaders and with its first edition it successfully managed to do exactly that. Be sure to look at our applications page to join the program in the forthcoming edition.