Kailee Atkinson is a former research intern at the United States Studies Centre.
What is your education background?
I am currently a sophomore at Lehigh University studying International Relations (IR). After taking a class on the Syrian crisis during the first semester of my first year I was drawn to IR and the opportunity to think critically about and explore relevant global issues. My additional proclivity for history and current events makes IR the perfect major to explore these curiosities. The knowledge I will acquire in this field of study will help me devise feasible solutions to problems on the international stage
What have you been working on in your time here at the USSC?
During my time at USSC I have been able to help with research in a variety of areas, particularly on trade and investment with Southeast Asia, Australian energy policy and recent developments on United States and China trade relations. These topics have complimented my study and fueled my interests. Such in-depth research has pushed me to not only learn but understand real-world applications of the concepts taught in many of my classes.
My internship has opened my eyes to a the bigger understanding of international relations that only exists beyond the walls of my classrooms. I am grateful for my time here, the knowledge I have gained, and for the guidance of the many intelligent and driven men and women that work at the United States Studies Centre.
What is like living in Sydney?
I came to Sydney with very few reservations, but nevertheless I am blown away. Growing up in one of the coldest states in the US, I am extremely happy to be living in the warmth and sunshine of this city every day. I have never been to another city that feels so relaxed, even during its peak-hour rush. I love the ease, cleanliness and simplicity of public transportation in Sydney. I also love having quick access to such magnificent landscape such as the Royal National Park and the Blue Mountains. Sydney’s rich cultural diversity has been a breath of fresh air. I have loved tasting new foods, meeting people from around the world, and partaking in cultural celebrations and traditions with new friends, coworkers, and classmates. I know that when it comes time to board my plane back home to Vermont, a piece of my heart will remain here in Sydney.
What do you hope to do with your experience from the USSC?
My time at USSC has reinvigorated my future hopes and aspirations by helping me visualise a realistic career path. The research experience I have gained during this time will serve as a strong foundation in the acquisition of my undergraduate degree and any further education. Finally, my work at USSC has advanced my critical thinking and writing skills and in doing so empowered me to develop and express my solutions to issues on a global stage.