Presidential Cabinet of French Polynesia
Prime Minister's Office, Cook Islands
By Hironui Johnston
I was honored to be accepted as an intern at the Presidential Cabinet of French Polynesia. It was the first time the Cabinet had hosted an intern. The internship was divided into 2 missions: the following-up on Government’s project with the State of Hawaii and the organization of the Asia-Pacific Forum, in partnership with the Club de Madrid. I assisted the Chief Cabinet and the International Relations Advisor to the President.
During a period of a month and a half, I was introduced to different institutions and businesses of the State of Hawaii. I gained firsthand experience on international relations and was able to better understand the US political system. It was an opportunity to promote and defend the interests of my country. Some projects involved big companies such as Hawaiian Airlines, Matson, Starwood and government institutions such as the Governor’s office, Hawaii State Senate and the Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies. Moreover, being involved during a campaign period, I gained much insight into the American way of election campaigning. As a result of this mission, I drafted a report addressed to the Presidential Cabinet, which is being reviewed under confidentiality at this time.
The second mission involved the Asia-Pacific Forum, in partnership with the Club de Madrid, and sponsored by Professor Clive Palmer. The forum was a 3 day conference, which gathered a bit more than 100 participants with 50 international guests and 50 from the local government and institutions. It was an occasion to learn the protocol at the highest level. I used my skills as an event planner with multi-tasking and organizing. I had the blessing and opportunity to meet, learn, share, socialize and work with former Presidents and Prime Ministers, Diplomats and government representatives, members of parliament, academics and experts. This allowed me to learn from experienced people and opened door for my future. I also develop a deeper love for my people and my country. Moreover, I came back with a greater knowledge and better understanding of the President of my country and his vision for our people. The experience I had, I would never exchange. It is the most valuable internship I ever had. The most important reason, among others, is the fact that I did something for my country and people. It might be considered small, but from a small rock you build a great mountain; from a tiny thread you create an amazing tapestry.