I had the privilege to work as an intern in the Capacity Building and Training department of the Asian Development Bank Institute (ADBI) from January to March of 2022. While the internship program for my designated term was conducted entirely online due to the coronavirus pandemic, this virtual format did not diminish the quality of my internship experience.
The majority of my assigned projects and tasks at ADBI were related to high-speed rail and often had a narrower focus on high-speed rail systems based in India, Japan, Saudi Arabia, and Spain. My previous internships concentrated on the Japan-Republic of Korea-United States trilateral relationship, the North and South Korean contention, and the Pacific Islands. As a result, the topic of high-speed rail was relatively new for me. Nevertheless, I am grateful for being recently introduced
to this topic which has now captured my long-term interest. It was particularly fascinating to learn of the importance and interconnections high-speed rail has with economic development, climate change, and the transportation sector.
ADBI also presented opportunities for me to dedicate my work to areas other than high-speed rail. For example, I was involved in the ADBI-Stanford University Leadership Academic for Development program. Not only was I able to witness the behind-the-scenes work of constructing high-quality coursed-based training programs through meetings, but I was able to vividly see the culmination of that behind-the-scenes work after observing one of their latest course-based training programs. In addition, I participated in the ADBI -Toyo University course program on City-Wide Inclusive Policy and Innovation in Sanitation in Asia: Focus on Japanese Experiences. During this program, I was particularly intrigued by the history of sanitary practices in Japan, and how Japan’s sanitary infrastructure is similar and different from other regions of the world.
The greatest experience of all was being able to meet and work alongside kind, compassionate, and diligent individuals within ADBI’s global network. I want to sincerely express my gratitude to ADBI and the University of Tokyo for giving me the rare and humble opportunity to intern at the beginning of 2022. This internship has allowed me to uniquely deepen my knowledge of the Indo-Pacific region and expand my horizons to other parts of the globe.