Name: Cassandra (Cassie) Rowlands ‘13

Title: Policy Analyst

Employer: Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM)

Major: Government and Politics, Economics

Minor: French Studies

What do you enjoy most about your current position?

Working at a federal government agency that supports U.S. jobs by financing the export of U.S. goods and services allows me to use both my GVPT and ECON majors, which is really fulfilling. I obtained my graduate degree in International Relations and my position is in EXIM’s International Relations Division, where we collaborate with foreign export credit agencies across the globe on a regular basis. It’s great to have a position that is closely aligned with my studies and my personal interests.

What is a typical day like in your position?

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has rules on the provision of export credits, and part of the International Relations Division’s focus is on the negotiation and implementation of these disciplines. I’m often reviewing changes to these rules and analyzing what a change in these rules would mean for EXIM. These rules cover a variety of aspects of export finance, from interest rates to support for renewable energy projects. Although I don’t cover all topics, I have had the opportunity to learn a lot about some very interesting issue areas that fall under my portfolio such as anti-bribery efforts, environmental due diligence, and sustainable lending practices.

Which undergraduate experiences did you find most helpful in preparing you for this position?

Internships were undoubtedly the most valuable experience in preparing me for this position. All of my internships were in the public sector and almost all of them were located in Washington, D.C. and focused on international trade. I used these internships to complement my coursework and obtain additional substantive knowledge and skills. I also had some fantastic internship supervisors who took an interest in helping me prepare for graduate school and a career after college.

How has your coursework helped you in your current position?

I think the combination of GVPT and ECON coursework helped refine the skills necessary for this position. I am constantly using Excel for data analysis, conducting qualitative research to support arguments, and briefing management on various issues, so quantitative skills, research techniques and communication skills are important. The importance of being able to write clearly, concisely and persuasively cannot be overstated. Foreign language skills I obtained from the French Studies minor are also valuable during meetings at the OECD in Paris.

Any job or internship advice?

Being proactive in seeking out internships is key, as is having a clear, well-formatted resume. Practical experience is the best way to prepare for the job search and a position after college.

Any additional tips?

I definitely recommend taking advantage of UMD’s proximity to Washington, D.C. and the abundance of internship opportunities available here