Jordyn Arndt was a 2017 Graduate Public Service Scholar, who interned at the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Child Labor, Forced Labor, and Human Trafficking.

Where are you from?
I am from Farmington, Minnesota. 

Where did you go to school? What did you study?
I attended Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies, where I earned a Master of Arts in International Relations and Economics. I was awarded a Bachelor of Arts in French, International Business and Economics from St. Catherine University.

What was the best part of your internship?
I enjoyed working with a highly-qualified, dedicated team of civil servants to improve the livelihoods of communities globally while advancing U.S. interests. I was eager to learn how the U.S. government worked with other governments, businesses, and civil society to address labor issues. This was my first foray into government and it directly influenced my post-graduation plans.

What lessons did you learn that you would like to pass on to future interns?
While it is important to perform well professionally, don’t miss out on the opportunities to develop meaningful relationships with your colleagues. Some of my fondest memories of this internship were fostered during casual social conversations and running club.

What are you doing now?
I am a Foreign Affairs Officer at the U.S. Department of State. I serve on the Internet Freedom and Business and Human Rights team in the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor. I manage the U.S. government’s relationship with the Freedom Online Coalition, a diplomatic network of 30 governments working to advance human rights online. I also support our team’s work in Sub-Saharan Africa and East Asia Pacific.

What do you hope to be doing in 10 years?
In ten years, I hope to be an emerging leader in the field of business and human rights. I aspire to serve in a managerial role at the Department of State, advancing the U.S. government’s commitment to responsible business conduct. Alternatively, I may work in a similar role at an American multinational company, working closely with governments and civil society globally to ensure businesses operate ethically for the benefit of all stakeholders.

What is your favorite book and what are you reading now?
I’m reading The Jungle by Upton Sinclair, a moving account of the challenges an immigrant family faces in the meat packing industry of Chicago during the early 20th century. It is striking how similar the characters’ experiences are to those of factory workers in developing countries today. This novel reinforces how much work is left to be done to ensure all people can work in dignity and fulfill their basic needs.

I also like Brené Brown’s work and would recommend Daring Greatly!

Tell us a fun fact!
I went to an arts high school. Studying art history, and in particular French language and culture, inspired my interest in international affairs. I stay engaged in the arts by visiting museums, reading, and attending performances and often leverage these interests to establish rapport with international colleagues.

Leave a Reply