Whether they were working at foreign embassies, working to end human trafficking around the world, or even using an internship opportunity to transition into a full-time position with an international NGO, students at the Penn State School of International Affairs spent their summers making a difference across the world. Here are just some of the experiences of our students this summer:
When Jennifer Gibbs signed up for the School of International Affairs’ annual career exposure trip to New York, she didn’t know that their visit to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) would lead to a summer internship—and, in turn, a full-time job after graduation.
But that’s exactly what happened.
School of International Affairs student Qing Sun may be from China, but she spent her summer in Denver, Colorado, where she worked on an important issue that impacts people all over the world: human trafficking.
“After graduation, I’d like to work with nonprofits in areas like human rights and human trafficking, so this was a really great opportunity for me,” Sun said. “I learned a lot about this field and human trafficking in Colorado and the United States, which I think will be of great benefit to me after graduation.”
School of International Affairs integrated undergraduate-graduate student Adam Banks didn’t travel too far from State College for his summer internship at the Lauder Institute at the University of Pennsylvania — but the work he was doing has important global implications for think tanks across the world.
“The types of regimes in individual countries has a direct impact on the kind of policies being impacted by think thanks in a given country,” Banks said. “One conclusion of our research is that policy orientations of think tanks in democratic versus authoritarian nations are often totally different.”
“My day to day work was never the same,” Rodriguez said. “One unexpected element of my internship was how much my superior trusted me with substantial work that contributed