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IRC internships strengthen the next generation of humanitarian leaders

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By: Beeta Riahi, Family mentor and volunteer coordinator 

In late September, the IRC in Baltimore welcomed the fall 2020 cohort of interns to play a critical role in supporting clients, staff and programs over the next three months. Even though the pandemic continues to force everyone to deliver services remotely, interns still gain valuable professional skills and experience. Many have expressed that their time at the IRC will help to shape their future career and graduate school plans. Here are a few examples from our fall 2020 interns, in their own words: 

Fatou (left), Veronica (top) and Amrah (bottom) zoom in to collaborate with eachother. Photo: credit_Beeta Riahi


IRC: Why did you choose to intern at the IRC in Baltimore?  

Fatou Jallow, Immigration Legal Services Intern: 

I applied to the immigration legal services department of the IRC because I find the work to be noble and necessary. I have personally seen family members go through the immigration process, and I was inspired to join an organization dedicated to providing services for people from all walks of life. My goal is to one day practice immigration law, so I knew that an internship at the IRC would be a great way to explore that career path. 

Veronica Glimada, Community Engagement Intern: 

I found it hard to transition when I first moved to the United States. As a community engagement intern, being able to work with people who may be struggling to adjust to another country is something that I am passionate about. 

 Amrah Masud, Refugee Resettlement Caseworker Intern: 

In college I volunteered as a mentor for Burmese and Syrian refugee children which helped me understand more about all the barriers their families had to overcome to adjust to the American culture. Through LinkedIn, I connected with an IRC staff member in Dallas and learned about all the incredible empowerment programs they provide for refugees, asylees, and victims of trafficking. This led me to apply for the resettlement casework intern position at the IRC in Baltimore.  

IRC: What have you learned through your internship experience?   

Fatou Jallow, Immigrant Legal Services Intern: 

I have had the opportunity to meet with clients from several countries. Each of them have their own unique stories and I am inspired every time I get to meet one of them. I have also had the opportunity to contribute substantively to immigration work, which I think is great exposure for me and is reaffirming my aspiration to practice immigration law. 

Veronica Glimada, Community Engagement Intern: 

I began interning with the IRC early this summer when I was a full-time student with six classes and a part time job. It was crucial to stay on task and on time with deadlines and manage my time. Also, communication can be difficult through Zoom so it is best to clarify the task and follow up with questions. Working with individuals from all around the world has made me aware that communication is key in these virtual times.  

Amrah Masud, Refugee Resettlement Caseworker Intern: 

I provide services that are core to the resettlement team. Since I have to deliver these services over the phone and with the help of an interpreter, I have learned to be efficient, to be a better listener and to ask the right questions and understand the client's concerns. I am grateful to have supervisors who have been extremely helpful throughout this internship, and they also helped me improve my decision-making skills.  

IRC: What would you advise someone considering an internship with the IRC in Baltimore?  

Fatou Jallow, Immigrant Legal Services Intern: 

I would tell them to absolutely intern with the IRC! It is everything someone would look for in an internship and more. The IRC gives interns a chance to explore professional interests and engages us in meaningful work. There is a lot of collaboration and communication on a daily basis—which is great in the remote world we find ourselves in.  

Veronica Glimada, Community Engagement Intern: 

I would tell them to go for it! As a community engagement intern, I have gained a lot of knowledge about refugees and practical experience with operating volunteer programs. If you are interested in helping people from different backgrounds and learning more about assisting in programs, then this is the right internship! 

Amrah Masud, Refugee Resettlement Caseworker Intern: 

If you are considering interning remotely with the IRC in Baltimore, my advice to you is to be prepared to work independently. This internship is a significant responsibility, and a lot of people are counting on you to complete each service in a timely and efficient manner. 

Are you interested in joining our team as an IRC intern? Find available internship positions at rescue.org/careers.