Matthew Weiner, BSILR
ILO Geneva, Switzerland
On a Thursday night in May, I walked over to my fridge to get a cold glass of water and noticed nearly a dozen magnets adorning my refrigerator’s front door. Reminiscing about the wonderful times my friends and I partook in during our spring semester in Geneva makes me somewhat sad that the semester ended. My supervisor, Duncan Campbell, asked me every week where we were traveling to for the upcoming weekend. Our travels led us to many places, from Budapest to Monaco, where we tasted new foods, met new people, and experienced new cultures. Journeying around Europe for three months permitted us to fully reap the benefits from an internship at the International Labour Organization in Geneva, Switzerland.
Interning in the Employment Sector at the ILO allowed me to utilize the skills that ILR has provided me over the years. My main task consisted of a large research project focusing on a behavioral economic analysis of Central and Eastern Europe. Previous classes in labor economics, statistics, and labor and employment law provided me with an excellent background to pursue this research topic. Furthermore, with the support of my supervisor, I produced a research paper that ILO staff will utilize to assist them in their own future research pursuits. Performing substantial research for the ILO was a realistic insight into a future of economic research and made me realize how much I enjoy this field of work.
One of the most rewarding parts of the semester was my affiliation with the ILO Intern Board. All of the Cornell interns this semester belonged to the ILO Intern Board and assisted with the planning of various activities for approximately 70 interns at the ILO. Collaborating with fellow interns from all over the world really opened my eyes to various cultures and perspectives. Whether it was just eating lunch with someone from Lebanon or playing soccer with interns from Italy and Canada, these culturally diverse experiences further enriched my internship experience.
My overall educational experience at the ILO was not limited to my work; the people I met and the places I traveled played a great role in shaping my entire experience. My credit internship exposed me to what it would be like to work in a true international organization. Relevant experiences ranging from my research of vital topics in lesser-known countries and my participation in focused meetings regarding Greece’s recession fostered my interests in working internationally and dealing with issues that affect millions of people from across the globe.
- Matthew Weiner