Wednesday, April 13, 2016

EUC Washington DC Trip 2016: Part Five

Photo by Emma Duan
By Emma Duan

As a part of the professional development of our MAEUS students, the European Union Center offers students the opportunity for a trip to Washington D.C. in the Spring semester. This year's trip happened from March 21 to the 24. This article is Part Five of a series of posts written by different MAEUS students. In this article, Emma Duan writes about the final day of the trip, March 24. Previous entries in this series can be found here.

On the morning of March 24, led by the Associate Director Dr. Larivé, MAEUS students had a very informative meeting with officials at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). It began with a short presentation on the mission and organizational structure of the Foreign Agriculture Service. The undergoing TTIP negotiations were also touched upon. It was interesting to note that the term "biotechnology" was used instead of "GMOs." I guess that the choice of word reflects the different positions of the negotiating parties.

Photo by Emma Duan
The students also had a lovely conversation with two economists at the Agriculture Research Services. They shared with us their backgrounds and research methodologies, from data gathering to model building and refinement. To me, this was eye opening, as it was the first time that I had the chance to know how big data and the predictive analytics were used for non-business purposes. USDA also offers several pathway opportunities for students and recent graduates. Internships can be a stepping stone to full-time employment. Other suggestions offered by them? Get the job done; be nice to everyone and network.

This year the National Cherry Blossom Festival - the biggest springtime celebration at D.C.- started on 20th March right before our arrival. We could not afford to miss that. A walk surrounded by cherry blossoms from Jefferson Memorial to Martin Luther King Memorial is a unique offering of the Nation's Capital around this time of the year. We were just so lucky!


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