2014 Civic Fellowship Orientation

Fellows & Speakers

From out west in California to down south in Texas and even up north in Maine, ILF fellows had been preparing for their summer internship. On Sunday, June 8th, their official start date had arrived. Meeting at 10 AM in the Ronald Reagan Building, the fellows were greeted with a McDonalds breakfast. For the next couple hours, they engaged in discussion and were imparted with the ins and outs of the DC business world. Following the speakers, a panel of previous Civic fellows shared their own experiences. The orientation ended with a group photo , wrapping up day one of the Civic Fellowship.

Chiling Tong (CEO, left) and Farooq Sait (speaker, right) lecture the fellows
Chiling Tong (CEO, left) and Farook Sait (speaker, right) lecture the fellows


“Asians belong to the triple A club: Accent, Appearance, and Ancestry.”

-Farook Sait



Some of the ILF team asked fellows after orientation how they felt. This is what some of them had to say:

“Being one of the first fellows to arrive, I greet each newly arrived Julie (Li) Zhufellow at the ILF Orientation on June 8th. After a round of brief self-introductions, ILF Founders educated us about the Federal Government and the power struggles between agencies with a light-hearted and entertaining episode of the British sitcom Yes Prime Minister. Chiling Tong, the CEO of ILF, subsequently greeted us by shedding light to an important aspect of our internships – networking. While hard work and perseverance have always been valued in Asian Pacific American communities, much of what is important about professions is interpersonal and how we deal with others. Awareness of interaction can help us enormously not only in our internships but in our future professional pursuits as well. After several networking exercises, guest Speakers Farook Sait, Soohyun Julie Koo, and Hank Chao shared their professional journeys in public service as Asian Pacific Americans. Past ILF fellows Tonia Bui, Jaqueline Jin and Alex Wu also conversed about their experiences and advice in a panel discussion at the end of orientation. Although it was a long day especially for fellows newly arrived in DC, all of us left orientation with invaluable knowledge.”
-Julie Zhu, Cornell University
Department of the Treasury

“Although officially a college graduate, during of ILF orientation I Kimberly Daoquickly realized how much more there is to learn out in the real world. The day was full of inspirational leaders and conversations. It is a rare and humbling experience to have access to such successful and
grounded individuals in one setting. In addition, being able to meet and greet with the fundamental people behind ILF tries put this amazing opportunity into context for me. Concluding the day with a panel of former ILFers sharing their experiences and giving us advice showed me how impactful this program can be. This orientation was educational, motivating, and fun. I hope future ILFers will benefit from it as much as I did!”
-Kimberly Dao, University of Maine
U.S. Agency for International Development

“The ILF orientation on June 8th was very informative, and gave a Joanne Chuaglimpse to some real-life situations in the workplace (always research up the people you’ll be meeting!). However, despite it being a professional event, it also felt very warm and welcoming and it was a great pleasure to meet people from different walks of life. Panelists talked in a very down-to-earth fashion, making it easier to relate to them and also eased up any intimidating atmospheres. As clichéd as it may sound, I really did leave feeling inspired by their stories and excited to immerse myself in a different culture in our nation’s capital.”
-Joanna Chua, University of California, Berkeley
U.S. Agency for International Development

” Walking into a room full of strangers and spending most of one’s Emily Kongday with said strangers isn’t exactly the most ideal situation for an introvert. However, for me, it was a way to push my comfort zone and surprisingly, it ended on a pretty positive note. We all attempted making small talk with one another, and some did so better than others. We got to bond over some laughs, but we also got to share some frights as we learned about what is expected of a working individual in the professional sphere. Nevertheless, it was a good day because I pushed my boundaries and was able to still look forward to the next time we would all meet.”
-Emily Kong, Georgetown University
U.S. Agency for International Development

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