Political Science and Theatre, College of Liberal Arts, Class of 2012
Policy Analyst, The Institute for Gulf Affairs, Summer 2011
What would you tell your peers they need to do to find a great internship?
I would tell my peers that it is incredibly important to be well rounded and educated in multiple fields. Before I began working at The Institute for Gulf Affairs (IGA), I knew very little about Middle Eastern politics, but when my supervisor saw that I was a double major in Political Science and Theatre, he hired me based on my public speaking skills and insight on international affairs. It is also very important that one’s resume goes out early so that you have the greatest advantage in securing a great internship.
What did you learn from your internship search that you will apply in future job searches?
I now know that I should apply for jobs that will not keep me behind a desk for 40 hours a week. I want to be up, moving around, interacting with people, and seeing the results of my work.
What skills are you using and/or learning at your internship that you can use in entry-level jobs?
Due to the nature of my internship, I learned how to interact with powerful professionals and I learned how to think on my feet when necessary. I also believe that I further developed my writing skills, and I learned how to design and manage a website should my future jobs require that of me.
What is one highlight from your internship experience?
I worked at the IGA as a Policy Analyst for their NoWomen, NoPlay campaign in Washington, DC. I was responsible for everything from interviews with political figures, to State Department briefings, to website design and management, to hiring the interns who would eventually take my place. NoWomen, NoPlay is a campaign specific to pressuring the International Olympic Committee to ban Saudi Arabia from the Olympics on the platform of the gender apartheid that is currently going on within the country. The greatest highlight from my internship was the day that a woman from the State Department who negotiates with the Taliban, Lowry Taylor, listened to me lecture for roughly 20 minutes on the violations against women in Saudi Arabia. We then discussed the issues after my speech and she told me how she was going to implement that knowledge into future negotiations. A close second was the night that I lectured at George Washington University’s Law School about the gender apartheid in Saudi Arabia.
What is the most valuable part of your internship experience?
The most valuable part of my internship experience was that it taught me what I did not want in a career. I found out that I would not be happy working for the rest of my life in a cubicle. I realized that instead of politics I really wanted to focus my organization and managerial skills towards a career in theater production. At the end of my time in DC, my mentor, professor, and friend Shelly Williams turned to me and said, “You love theatre more than this. It’s okay to pursue what you love versus what you tell yourself that you love.” I’ve been much happier ever since.
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