Loyola University Chicago

Center for Experiential Learning


John Schmidt

John Schmidt
Economics and Global and International Studies

While my internship with the World Health Organization in Beijing is very complimentary to the education I received at Loyola, it also gives me experiences in an area of foreign policy that I never experienced. As an economics major, I had many experiences interning and working at various governmental and private entities during college, but working for the WHO is unique in that because it is part of the United Nations, it has the ability to affect change in a much more direct and powerful way. As an aspiring developmental economist and a firm believer in helping others though the market, I cannot imagine a better job.  

I expect my internship at the WHO to be both stressful and rewarding. During my time at the office I will be conducting economics research that will be used in briefs to the government on various health economics issues. Having such a high standard for work is empowering, but also puts a lot of pressure on me to work at my highest level. Many of my coworkers attended some of the best universities in the world, so the bar is high but I’m up for the challenge.

Above all, I’m looking forward to doing work that has a direct impact on the many people who do not have the means to help themselves. Oftentimes, the only thing standing between these people and a better life for themselves and their families is asymmetric access to education and disconnection, be it financially or physically, from the market economy. It hurts realizing that oftentimes the circumstances of one’s birth can in many ways predetermine their lot in life. I believe this to be one of the most fundamental injustices there is, and working for the World Health Organization would allow me to contribute to the alleviation of these problems.

Working for the United Nations has been a goal of mine for several years, one only reinforced by the many opportunities I’ve been given in college to travel and live around the world. These experiences abroad taught me much intellectually, but also personally. They’ve shown me what foreign policy looks like in action, and my entire Loyola experience has also fostered in me a desire to help others, something that will follow me for the rest of my life. I am not another economics student aspiring for a job in investment banking (not that there’s anything wrong with that), and I think a big component of that is due to my time at Loyola Chicago.