Kamryn Quackenbush | International Relations
Position: Special Education Teacher
Organization: Ekisa Ministries
Location: Jinja, Uganda
"This summer I was fortunate enough to intern as a special education teacher in Jinja Uganda with Ekisa Ministries. Ekisa Ministries is a 501(c)(3) non- profit providing ethical care for vulnerable children living with special needs in Uganda. To obtain this internship I went through an application and interview process that took around a month before finding out that I was accepted. Every day we taught school for the residential children at Ekisa. School was broken up into morning and afternoon school where we worked in stations on different skills the kids will need for life, while also making sure they're in line with Ugandan culture. We also took the children on various outings helping to change the stigma surrounding disabilities in Ugandan culture where individuals who have disabilities are seen as cursed and worthless.
I learned so much about ethical practice of care and development for vulnerable children and women, what sustainable practices look like in actuality, the issues surrounding the "white savior complex" and voluntourism, and what it looks like to live in a developing country. This experience truly put what I’ve learned in classes in front of me and brought what I've learned to life. The best part of my internship was the relationships I developed with all of my Ugandan friends and the children at Ekisa, as well as truly being able to be immersed in a new culture."
Breanne Schneider | International Relations
Position: Security and Intelligence Support, Global Threat Management Team
Organization: Global Security Department, Sony Pictures Entertainment
Location: Los Angeles, CA
"This past summer, I had the incredible opportunity to intern with the Global Threat Management team in the Global Security Department at Sony Pictures Entertainment. I found the position on a job search engine online, and was contacted by a recruiter after applying, and then interviewed by the team. In my role, I provided security and intelligence support to SPE’s productions, assets, and staff worldwide. One thing I loved about this internship was that there was no “typical day” at the office – my responsibilities would vary widely each day. My tasks would range from social media monitoring for threats and trends pertaining to SPE films, talent, and personnel, to reviewing scripts and pre-released films for politically provocative and inflammatory content, to providing security risk assessments for locations at which SPE was looking to film, organize a movie premiere, or acquire an office.
I am very grateful to have had this opportunity because the department’s work is a seamless fit with global security in the private sector – a field that I have been very interested in as an International Relations major. I didn’t originally anticipate interning in the entertainment industry, but I actually ended up really liking that aspect of the work and took a major interest in assisting with SPE’s production security efforts. I valued that my department allowed me to fully become a member of the team, and when “crises” or “situations” occurred, I was granted significant responsibility and levels of trust from my superiors to deliver actionable research and results. There were many other highlights from the work I was involved in, but I also really enjoyed some of the events that the internship program itself sponsored, including a tour of the set of Shark Tank, a taping of the show Jeopardy, and access to pre-release movie screenings at the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences headquarters."
Samantha Sepulveda | International Relations
Organization: The Barcelona Metropolitan Strategic Plan (PEMB)
To me being an International Relations major means learning how people work, learn, study, and live together across countries and cultures. It's about learning the differences and seeing how connections can be made in order to contribute to a bigger picture. I interned this summer remotely at PEMB, a nonprofit based in Spain, that specializes in bridging the needs of the government with those of the community. Along with the internship I was enrolled in a class with about 20 other students from all over the world. I learned what it means to be interculturally competent and how to use that knowledge to market my skills in the international affairs community I hope to one day pursue a career in. Even though I worked remotely from California, I was still challenged by a work environment that was different from those I was used to. This experience was an exciting step along my path to becoming an involved global citizen of our world.
Miriam Admasu | International Relations
Position: United States National Committee, Los Angeles Chapter
Organization: United Nations Women USA
Location: Los Angeles
"This summer I interned for the Los Angeles chapter of the United States National Committee (USNC) for UN Women (now known as UN Women USA). The focus of the LA Chapter of the USNC for UN Women is to support the large scale mission of UN Women. These projects promote social, political, and economic equality for women and girls spanning 100 countries around the globe. The Los Angeles Chapter specifically works to connect the dots between local and global women and concerns, and to inspire our local community to embrace the broader goals of UN Women. The organization's activities include workshops, discussions, classes regarding well-being, etc. One of my favorite engagements that we did was the street action. We planned a street action at 3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica to raise awareness against gender-based violence and encourage the community to get involved. I really enjoyed getting to work with like-minded and ambitious women who were passionate about creating change."
Jack Twiford | International Relations
Position: John Barroso (Wyoming Senator) Intern
Organization: United States Senate
Location: Washington D.C.
This past summer, Jack Twiford, a junior international relations major, interned for Wyoming Senator John Barraso in Washington, D.C. During his internship, he was given the opportunity to give tours of the Capitol Building and Senate Office Buildings in addition to researching various issues for individual staff members, conducting research for the Senator’s various committee hearing researching, and help out around the office through working the phones and interacting with constituents. This internship was extremely helpful to Jack in furthering his future career as he was able to connect with various staff members, and another intern in the office was even offered a job as a staff assistant. In addition, it provided him the unique opportunity to sit in on Senate hearings and sessions, meet and interact with other Senators, and attend social and networking events with other interns in D.C. To find this internship, Jack simply submitted an online application on the Senator’s website along with a few references and then interviewed with staff members. Although Jack is a resident of Wyoming, not all of the interns were and the application is open for everyone. He recommends this internship to other International Relations majors because he was able to research and experience the international aspect of U.S. politics and the senator, as Senator Barraso is on the Foreign Relations Committee. He also saw many different foreign government officials come in as well as how what he has learned in his International Relations courses play out in the real world.
Jack Palen | International Relations
Position: Jim Cooper (California House of Representatives) Intern
Organization: United States House of Representatives
Location: Washington D.C.
Two summers prior, Jack Palen, a junior International Relations major, interested in the House of Representatives for Congressman Jim Cooper (D). Congressman Cooper represents Tennessee’s 5th District and is a member of the Government Oversight Committee and the Armed Services Committee. Jack’s internship was a much more robust internship program than the average representative. Each morning, the interns were required to summarize an article, TED Talk, or data set they had seen the night before and then take a stand on it, and then debate the issue with Representative Cooper. In addition, one a week each intern would turn in an essay he/she wrote on a prompt given the week before, and then meet with the Representative individually to go over the essay. In addition, Jack was able to establish a connection with a Pentagon fellow who advised the Congressman on his committee. Jack reached out to him and still emails back and forth discussing space law, readings, and his future career. Because of this internship, Jack was able to attend the Peter Strzuck hearing, a high level public hearing, that opened his eyes to the fact that Capitol Hill is a public space, accessible to many people. Jack found this internship through his participation in Mock Trial, a fellow teammate of his was a former intern and pushed him to apply. He applied for the summer after his first year at LMU by submitting a few essays on both Tennessee politics and national politics. Jack highly recommends this for other International Relations major because it was one of the more transformative experiences he has had. In addition, it was an incredible opportunity to become knowledgeable of national issues first hand and understand how the federal government runs.
Sophie Notter | International Relations
Position: Amnesty International Intern
Location: Washington D.C.
Sophie Notter, a junior International Relations major, interned two summers ago for the international section of the Washington, D.C. office for Amnesty International. During this experience, she coordinated human rights campaigns on asylum seekers at the U.S./Mexico border, death penalty, child separation, and Guantanamo Bay detainees with both the Washington, D.C. office and the other offices around the world. This meant making fliers and weekly updates, collecting and organizing signatures from petitions, and planning report releases. During her internship, Sophie was working very closely with her supervisor. She found this extremely helpful in making connections not only in the office, but also within the greater Amnesty community around the world. In addition, her supervisor had worked previously with other human rights organizations and was able to introduce her to various other professionals in those organizations. With this internship, Sophie was also able to go to various hearings and briefings on Capitol Hill as well as different protests and marches in a professional capacity to see what it was like to experience these events through the lens of a human rights advocate. She highly recommends this internship to other international relations majors, particularly those interested in human rights work. She not only was able to see how an international human rights agency ran on the local level but also on the international level through her work with the international office.
Avery Dillon | International Relations
Position: Akin, Gump, Strauss, Haur, Feld LLP intern
Location: Washington D.C.
This past summer, Avery Dillon, a senior International Relations major, interned for Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer, Feld LLP., one of the top 20 largest law firms in general as well as the biggest lobbying firm in the United States. During her internship, she was in charge of data cleanup in the contact systems for marketing, as well as coordinating events, working on business development plans for the partners, and keeping track of clients and client revenue by practice. She chose this internship because she is interested in going to law school. During her internship she was able to meet with the head recruiter of the firm as well as multiple people on the recruiting committee, who told her about their experiences taking the LSAT, going to law school, and finding a job at a big firm. They also offered to help her with her personal statement and advised her to reach out when in law school and looking for internships. In addition, she was able to learn about international trade from the international trade partner and her area of law and expertise. She found this internship to be a unique opportunity in that it allowed her to experience what it is like to be at a major law firm, what the culture is like, what the expectations are, how they interact, and how people are hired. She also was able to learn about current events from a law perspective. To find this internship, she simply went looking online for it, she did not need any internal connection. She filled out an online application, resume, and personal statement and then was called in for an interview. She highly recommends this internship for any international relations majors interested in going to law school.
Will Lighthart | International Relations
Position: Independent Researcher
Organization: World Wildlife Fund
Location: Beijing, China
This past summer, Will Lighthart, a junior International Relations major, interned for the Beijing Branch of the World Wildlife Fund. While there, he conducted independent research, collaborated with other team members to create itineraries for WWF-sponsored events and European Union documentation, assisted with editing and translation for WWF records and presentations, and assisted the branch’s marketing team with campaigns that were in English. While interning, he developed relations with interns from Chinese universities, as well as many of his superiors who were happy to mentor his or exchange parts of their cultures. These relations he hopes to maintain despite the distance. Mandarin Chinese was the preferred language of exchange in the office and Will was one of few foreigners working in my entire complex, which provided unique insight into what the Chinese office life and workforce looks like in action. Will highly recommends this internship to other international relations major, as it was one of his most defining experiences. This internship allowed him to pursue his passion for learning, growth, and professional development, and is grateful that this experience offered these opportunities outside of his comfort zone.