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Through the past year I adjusted to being a virtual student, but was looking forward to a summer where I could try something new. As a college student the past year during the pandemic has introduced me to new ways of learning. Professors communicated on Zoom and I would learn through video. Overall, this started my desire for a virtual global learning experience.

In my Spring semester I came across different programs that would make it possible to have an internship remotely. These opportunities were exciting because even though the COVID pandemic made it impossible to travel, the remote internships gave benefits like learning to work professionally.

The opportunity to work with IARS was possible because of the virtual internship model that was a bright side for a difficult year of the shift to online learning. The experience introduced me to many new skills and developed me not only as a professional but also as  an individual. I was able to shape my professional writing and research skills through writing articles and working on policy consultations. Having real life professional experience here as an intern was essential because I received support from supervisors and crucial feedback.

My time as an IARS was a chance opportunity during a global pandemic that gave me all the skills I needed to enter the working world. Without the online setting this might not have been possible.  The virtual aspect helped guide me to a new working world format and introduced me to a new working environment. I am grateful for my time here and for the skills that were developed.

By Sophie Lucas