On April 23, 2012, Alexandra Draggeim began a two-month internship in the Interpreting Division of the Office of Language Services (OLS) at the U.S. Department of State. Earlier this year, she passed the OLS liaison interpreting test in Chinese and Russian and is also working with French as her passive language.
At the OLS, she meets daily with staff interpreters to work on interpreting skills and note-taking techniques while also having the opportunity to observe various interpreting assignments. For example, she has visited the Voice of America to see simultaneous Chinese interpreting in action and also has observed several assignments within the State Department’s International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP), which brings current and emerging leaders from all over the world to the U.S. to learn about different aspects of American government and society. Alexandra is also learning about work at the OLS by helping out with budget estimates for interpreting assignments, helping to prepare interpreting test materials, and doing some statistical analysis to trace how the needs for different languages have changed over the years. She is hoping to use what she has learned while accompanying a group of international visitors in the U.S. as part of the IVLP program after the completion of her internship.