I had the pleasure to work as a research intern for the Asian Development Bank Institute (ADBI) from January to March of 2017. As anybody studying public policy and remotely interested in working in the public sector would, I too had been curious about the works of an international organization like ADB. Although ADBI, being the research arm of ADB, is not quite like a typical international organization, the experience of working there as an intern, nonetheless provided me with an opportunity to taste what it is like to be working at an international organization as well as broaden my research skills and engage in networking.
I was assigned to work with Dr. Nun, who used to work for the Central Bank in Thailand. Her research interests included Macroprudential Measures (MPM) and Capital Flow Management (CFM) in Asia-Pacific region. While they did not completely overlap with my personal research interests (granted, my Bachelor’s degree in Economics can be a little bit misleading), I cherished the challenge and tried hard to familiarize myself with the topics. I was able to provide her with graphs and tables that would (hopefully) later be part of the book chapter that she is looking to publish soon. Although in all frankness MPM and CFM did not grow into becoming my personal research interests, I have always wanted some exposure to the international (and regional) financial regimes and financial policies, and the experience provided me with just that over the course of the 8 weeks.
Networking was also very important. Within ADBI, of course, you have the chance to grab lunch with senior researchers or policy makers who happen to have their offices right next to yours as well as engage in an after-work gathering with younger interns and research associates alike. Also, located at the heart of Tokyo, ADBI is also a great place to network with the outside. I took this period as the chance to grab lunch or dinner (and drink) with my Japanese acquaintances who work for the government, with my SNU senpai who work nearby or with fellow GraSPPers who, too, do their internship near the area.
Working at ADBI certainly provides anyone with a good sense of how it would be to be working at an international organization. Internship at ADBI would be ideal for those candidates genuinely interested in taking on some research work relevant especially in the international sphere. While there is no guarantee that you will be assigned to supervisors with similar research interests, this should not take anything away from the multifaceted experience. I certainly enjoyed my 8 weeks’ time at the ADBI and hope that the experience and friendships that I made there will last for a long time. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Dr. Nun for being such a great supervisor.