Drew University Student Interns with U.S. State Department

Delaney Redford C’22 gets hands-on experience in foreign affairs

May 2021 – Rising senior Delaney Redford spent the hybrid in-person spring 2021 semester at Drew University interning with the U.S. Department of State.

Redford, a Civic Scholar, is in the midst of a year-long internship covering the Pennsylvania area under the U.S. Diplomat in Residence for the New York Metro Area.

In her role, she helps recruit employees for the U.S. State Department, primarily by creating social media content for #WhyIJoinedWednesdays, a series of interviews with State Department staff about why they joined foreign and civil service.

Redford has gained a great deal of perspective about the complicated government office.

“One thing I learned is the U.S. State Department’s work is not only important in the foreign sphere, but also here at home,” she said.

“Many people have their own interpretation of America’s foreign affairs and believe the myths about them. A lot of the social media work that interns like me do is to help with general public education of the true story.”

Of particular pride for Redford was helping the Diplomat in Residence organize an event called “The Strength of Women in the Foreign Service” during Women’s History Month in March.

“It was a three-part program that brought female-identifying foreign service officers of varying levels together for a virtual panel to recruit more women to join the foreign service,” she said.

“Putting these panels together was particularly special for my Diplomat in Residence and our group of interns because we also were an all-female group.”

Redford, who hopes to pursue a career in the international relations field, is particularly thankful to her academic advisor, Carlos Yordan, and the director and assistant director of the Center for Civic Engagement, Amy Koritz and Amy Sugerman.

“The Center for Civic Engagement helped prepared me to take on an internship of this magnitude by building up my real-world working skills through the required Civic Scholar sophomore internship, which I did with U.S. Senator Bob Menendez’s office in Newark,” she said.

"Drew's New York City Semester on the United Nations gave me the experience that I needed to secure my current position."

“Professor Yordan gave me the support that I needed as my internship advisor and has supported my international relations education since I first declared my major. He led Drew’s New York City Semester on the United Nations, which gave me the experience that I needed to talk about the foreign affairs world and to secure my current position.”

As for life after Drew, Redford hopes her current internship is a building block in a career with the U.S. State Department itself—and anywhere that may lead.

“My education at Drew has given me a solid foundation from both the foreign and domestic sides,” she reflected. “Drew has given me transferable skills that are necessary to do well in whatever career I end up with.”

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