After seven rejections from the Korean government, my internship pursuit finally paid off when the Ministry of Environment made a special exception for me to join as an International Reporter Intern. My primary duties would be to promote the environment of Jeju Island to citizens across the Korean peninsula and to support the reporting of international environment issues throughout the government branch.
My daily and weekly tasks consisted of lots of research. As I would research international events of importance to the environment, the next step would be to identify the most promising potential stories and begin building them out. Final products were articles on the government website, with content ranging range from short reports and infographics to short documentaries and digital pamphlets. It was incredibly fulfilling to know that I had made some form of impact when I would receive thankful emails from citizens who had read the materials that I helped to prepare.
This role helped me to better understand that how the government communicates its policies and reforms is just as important as what the reforms are themselves. When government information is hard to access or to understand, the very people that policies are meant to support often end up missing out on those opportunities. I could not have imagined a better first government internship experience, as I have been able to take this insight with me into each of my later roles conducting marketing and outreach efforts.
Benny Hwang is a senior at Korea International School, Jeju Campus, with a passion for policy and people. He intends to attend university in the United States, where he will major in international relations and public policy.