When Catherine Cheney got her first taste of international journalism as an undergraduate student on a trip to Venezuela, she was hooked.
After graduation, Cheney landed a reporting job at POLITICO, but "missed the days when I was focusing on and reporting on issues beyond the Beltway," she writes in her entry in IJNet's storytelling contest.
Cheney discovered an opportunity on IJNet that would take her back overseas: the Arthur F. Burns Fellowship, which sends American and German journalists to one another's countries each summer for language studies and to work in a foreign newsroom.
"Not only did that experience remind me of why - and how much - I loved international reporting in the first place, leading to my current work for two foreign affairs publications, but it also opened my eyes to the importance of the German-American relationship, a topic I have continued to follow," writes Cheney, who now works for World Politics Review (WPR) and Al-Monitor.
Cheney's interest in the bilateral relationship has continued to grow: She will travel to Berlin this November to participate in the German-American Fulbright Commission Berlin Capital Program and report a series of stories for WPR.
Through the Burns Fellowship, Cheney says she developed "a deep fascination with how Germany and the United States will work together to tackle the challenges of the 21st century."
"In the months ahead, and throughout my career," she writes, "I plan to look into and report on that question, both from the American perspective and the German perspective, which I have come to appreciate and understand in a way I never could have without the Arthur F. Burns Fellowship and IJNet."
The winner of IJNet's story contest will be announced in November. To read more entries, visit our contest website.
Photo courtesy of Catherine Cheney