International Rescue Committee (IRC)

An Intern's Journey

Story by: Lindsay Roberts

Lindsay Roberts is a Development Intern with the IRC in Tucson, and a student at the University of Arizona.



On my first day at the International Rescue Committee I was nervous. It was more than nerves though, I was unsure of whether I could perform the tasks I needed to in order to succeed, worried about if I would live up to the interns who came before me and scared that my supervisor would regret her decision to teach me as her intern. Then I entered the office of the International Rescue Committee and every nerve in my body began to relax. The worries that gripped me like a vise began to loosen their grip. Every person I passed on my first day tour, smiled and greeted me. It was the best way my anxious self could have entered this new environment. I passed staff and refugees alike and all continued to welcome me into their space. 

It was this kind of welcoming and home feeling that continued throughout my internship that made the good and bad days alike worth it. On bad days, I would go into my supervisor’s office and we would talk about the stress I was under. Everyone was caring and supportive because they knew how hard some days could be. They all had gone through exactly the same troubles or issues you were dealing with, which to me, demonstrated their passion for the cause. On good days, I would share with family and friends how inspired I was about the work I was doing for such an incredible organization. I would rant for hours about the different people I had met who each had a unique outlook on the world that they wanted to share. 

To me, getting to know not only the other staff but some of our refugee clients was the most valuable aspect of my internship at The International Rescue Committee. Throughout my internship I learned much more about the world than I ever thought possible and I learned about it through first hand sources, people. To hear some of the refugee’s stories while interviewing them gave me a whole new perspective on the world. Some of the stories they had to share were so amazing that they were hard to not only believe but imagine. And despite some of their histories, these refugees are still hopeful and excited about life, which in it of itself is truly inspirational.

While I may have signed up for a Communication/Marketing internship, I really do feel that I experienced a lot more than that. The people above anything else are what make interning at the International Rescue Committee a one of a kind experience. I was able to meet some incredibly selfless people who work at The International Rescue Committee. I was able to hear incredible tales about journeys and life from refugee clients. And last, I was able to realize that while a few work days may try your patience, the end result will always be worth it. The feeling that you helped someone at the end of the day, no matter how small, will always be worth it.


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