Commercial Service Chicago Interns' Bios and Areas of Interest are below for your reference. If you would like to contact a current or former intern and ask about their experience working in our office, please mention in cover letter, we will be happy to provide their contact information.


Savannah Haeger

I am a rising senior at Davidson College in North Carolina, studying political science and Latin American studies. My previous professional experience includes internships with the U.S. Department of State and the Consulado General de México in Chicago, as well as work in communications and PR. In 2014, I spent six months in São Paulo, Brazil studying Portuguese and economics. Upon graduation, I hope to pursue a career in international policy or global communications, as well as an advanced degree. Interning with the U.S. Commercial Service in Chicago has been the perfect combination of my international and economic interests, offering hands-on experience in the complex world of international trade and how the U.S. government assists SMEs to export their goods and services. It is impossible to leave at the end of each day without having learned a myriad of new things about commercial diplomacy, a particular industry or trading partner, or about business in general. Anyone fortunate enough to have the opportunity to work with the International Trade Specialists in the Chicago office will work with wonderfully kind experts who genuinely care about public service, their clients and your own professional development.

FALL 2014

Kailee Phelps

I am currently a senior at Loyola University Chicago with majors in International Studies and Communication Studies, and a minor in Spanish Literature and Language. I have had many amazing opportunities through Loyola that have led me to a study abroad program last summer in Rome, and a variety of internship experiences. This past summer I interned for an international business, which sparked my interest in trade and inspired me to pursue an internship with the U.S. Commercial Service. I have learned so much about consulting and the intricacies of how to best assist U.S. businesses to export abroad. I have always wanted to work for an international government agency and I believe that I have had the best experience possible by working in the Chicago USEAC office. My co-workers have been such a welcoming and helpful group that has assisted me in gaining the most out of my internship. I have already developed many connections and skills from my internship with the U.S. Commercial Service that I know will be extremely useful in my future.


Jennifer Dimaano

Currently I am a fourth year student at the University of Illinois at Chicago, with a double major in economics and communication. My past employment history entails of retail sales and an internship at a small publication firm writing news articles. Aside from work and school, a passion of mine is to travel. Last summer I spent a month in Poland travelling around neighboring towns and countries with friends taking in the local culture. Initially what interested me in working at the Chicago USEAC was the agency working on an international level. As my time here continued I developed a growing interest for the consulting side of international trade and how to go about exporting to international markets. My colleagues here have been more than supportive in making me feel like an integral part of the staff. The time I’ve spent here has given me an invaluable experience providing me with working identity capital and industry knowledge of international trade. Hopefully my next step is to apply what I’ve learned here to future endeavors and exploring options in regards to international business.

Lauren Hackler

“I am a rising senior at the College of Charleston in Charleston, SC majoring in Economics with minors in French and International Studies.  I spent this past fall semester in La Rochelle, France studying in the University of La Rochelle’s French Language Immersion Program with other students from around the world.  Living with a host family, traveling Europe, and forming relationships with many other foreign students strengthened my interest in international business and international relations as well as worldwide economic development.  I pursued an internship with the U.S. Commercial Service to gain experience pertaining to foreign trade, international sales, and business development as well as learn more about the United States’ role in export promotion and its global impact.  As a Chicagoland native, I appreciate the opportunity an internship with the U.S. Commercial Service provides me to meet business leaders from Illinois based companies and learn about the process to expand their international influence.”

FALL 2012

Haley Pitonyak

Currently I am a Junior at DePaul University, majoring in Political Science with a particular interest in International politics and relations. Recently, I have had some political interning experience as I have done work for a local Chicago Alderman. In the future I hope to take my public assistance even further. That hope is a large part of the reason I am at DePaul to study Political Science, I anticipate that it will lead me down a path of assisting the general population. Being a student at DePaul has also given me the opportunity to explore diversity, diverse opinions, ideals, religious backgrounds, national backgrounds and so much more. My interest in outreach, government, and civic justice has stemmed from my previous experiences and has largely informed my decisions thus far. It has led me to study Political Science and to try and pursue a further future in the government arena, and I personally believe that this opportunity with the Chicago office can provide me with a platform for my ambitions.


Mina Yu

I am currently a junior at Loyola University Chicago majoring in International Studies with a concentration in Asian Studies and Political Science. Given my interest in international affairs and the rapidly globalizing world market, I pursued an internship with the U.S. Commercial Service in order to better understand the details of international trade by gaining hands-on, practical knowledge. It is my ambition that through the experiences I gain while interning for the U.S. Commercial Service, I will be able to expand my opportunities to study abroad and hopefully, work abroad as well.  I expect with much confidence that the experience I gain here in the Chicago office will be one that is invaluable for both my education and future.


Felicia Burkes

I am a graduate student in the Environmental Management & Sustainability program at the Illinois Institute of Technology.  I hold a BS degree from Georgia State University in Atlanta, Georgia.  While an undergraduate, I conducted environmental research overseas at Egerton University in Njoro, Kenya. I have studied Spanish and French. As an intern, I assist international trade specialists with compiling client data, reviewing export trends and meeting key performance goals. I intend to learn how to conduct export market research, foster balanced relationships for domestic and foreign businesses while gaining an understanding of international trade.


Tyler Duff

I am currently a senior at Central College, a small liberal arts college located in Pella, Iowa. I am majoring in International Studies with two minors in Economics and Philosophy. This semester I am enrolled with Chicago Semester, a small school program designed to provide students with an urban living and learning experience co-owned by my school. Two years ago I studied abroad in the city of Leiden, the Netherlands. I learned more than I ever could have expected there; not only about the Netherlands and Europe, but about America as well. I was surprised how interconnected Western Europe is with America, both economically and culturally. While I have always been interested in the world in general, my time in the Netherlands encouraged me to deepen my knowledge of world cultures and affairs. It is my fervent hope that I will discover much about international trade and the navigation of global markets during my internship with the U.S. Commercial Service. After this semester I plan to pursue an MS in Global Management at Thunderbird University.

Emily Ziethen

I am currently a senior at Loyola University Chicago, double majoring in International Studies and French Language and Literature, along with a minor in Economics. I was given the wonderful opportunity last year to study abroad for the entire academic year in Nantes, France. My experience living with a host family, taking classes at the local university, and experiencing a culture different from my own for 8 months truly opened up my eyes to the world around me. I have always been inclined towards the international field, but this experience furthered my passion and drives to become a part of it. I pursued an internship with the U.S. Commercial Service in order to deepen my knowledge of international business, as well as my understanding of the global markets and the integral role the United States plays within this field. I am excited to say that this experience will give me the tools necessary to navigate the rapidly changing markets that the United States and the international community will be facing in the future. After graduation I plan on using the valuable knowledge gained at this position and pursuing a Master’s degree in International Development.

Past & Present Interns

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  If the page does not appear in 5 seconds, please click this: outside web site is managed by the International Trade Administration and external links are covered by its website disclaimer statement.