refugee casework intern with the IRC in Silver Spring in 2021
Photo: Quentin Moore/IRC

An interview with Quentin Moore during his spring 2021 internship

Q: Who are you and how did you find out about internships with the IRC? 
A: My name is Quentin Moore. I am an undergraduate student majoring in psychology at Hiram College. I am interning with the IRC as a part of the Refugee Casework Team for the spring 2021 semester. I found out about the IRC through the Washington Center Internship Program. The Washington Center pairs students with valuable internship opportunities, and they were able to connect me with the IRC as I was looking for opportunities in social work.

Q: What is a skill you improved due to your internship with the IRC? 
A: Communication. Speaking with clients improved my communication-based skills such as listening and speaking clearly. Communication is such a valuable asset when working with the IRC, due to our continued meeting with clients and providing important services and information.

Q: Describe a typical day while interning at the IRC? 
A: Every morning I check in with my supervisor. During this check in, we discuss the tasks that I need to work on during that day. After checking in, my supervisor usually sends me a list of resources that will help me. Usually, the tasks include helping clients with cash assistance and/or completing ESL referral forms. With cash assistance, I call the clients to ask them questions to determine eligibility and see if there is any news regarding their circumstances or tasks I can help them with. After finishing the tasks, I often update my supervisor with any questions and and/or follow ups for clients throughout the day. I also create case notes whenever I talk to clients to record what happened during our discussions.

Q: What is the work culture at the IRC? Do you feel a part of the IRC’s mission? 
A: I definitely feel like a part of the team I am interning with. We have a weekly meeting with the interns and the caseworkers where we share news and updates. This helps a lot with the struggle of being a virtual intern, as I am able to listen and share my ideas with others. This helps me feel like the work I am doing directly contributes.

Q: Have you been able to meet any other professionals from the IRC remotely? 
A: Yes, my internship supervisor Diane has been very helpful and considerate to connect me to others from different departments to meet and learn about their experiences. I have already talked with individuals from various teams such as Intake, and Cultural Orientation. I plan to continue to do this as I want to keep learning about the IRC and its impact on others as well as develop a network of connections.

Q: How has your internship at the IRC affected your educational and career goals? 
A: This internship has given me a glimpse into what it is like to be a part of a non-profit. It has been a great first step and interning with the IRC has made me a lot more knowledgeable about the direction I want to take my career. It has also made me very interested in learning more about international studies and conflicts as I continue my education.