This past year was filled with lots of uncertainty, changes, and growth. I adjusted, as best I could, to virtual schooling and then was lucky enough to return to my university in person for a summer semester. When planning for the later summer months I knew I’d have 6 weeks before returning to school in the fall and I was eager to stay busy and gain experience in a field of interest. I didn’t want the pandemic to prevent me from seeking out an internship opportunity and I was so excited to discover that many organizations were offering virtual experiences. I was lucky enough to find an organization that placed me with IARS and from the first meeting I knew it would be a good fit.
I have had an outstanding time interning at IARS and am incredibly grateful for the opportunity. I have learned a lot about myself, both personally and professionally through this experience. For example, if I ever get a desk job I definitely need to invest in a better chair. More importantly I have gained confidence in my verbal and written skills, feel more comfortable working independently, and have learned the value of strong communication. Each task I was assigned prompted me to learn something new and I always felt supported by my advisors regarding asking questions and receiving feedback. This was a new experience for me, and their encouragement made it even more worthwhile. Maija and Sophia made any doubts I had about doing a virtual internship disappear with their attentiveness and liveliness. They created an exceptionally welcoming environment, and I can only imagine the work environment they have helped to curate in London.
During my time at IARS I was given the opportunity to write an article for the 99% magazine, attend a webinar on preventing gender-based violence, work on finding local contacts in the Southwark borough, help conduct research for the Latin Hub project, and make suggestions for IARS’ social media platforms. The experience was perfectly designed to allow me to learn more about research and policy while also giving me the ability to improve my communication and online skills. I will take this newfound confidence, knowledge on the community-sector, and heightened interest in social issues with me as I embark on future endeavors. I am grateful for the past 6 weeks and I can’t wait to see how the organization will continue to evolve and make an impact. The work they are doing is certainly making our world a better place.
Thank you to my supervisors for trusting me and giving me the space to learn and grow.
By Moira Hogan