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Internship with Women at Risk, International


Experience Information

Employer: Women at Risk, International
Job Title: Research Analyst and Assistant Writer
Major: International Relations
Received Credit?: Yes
Paid?: Yes

Description of the Organization

Women at Risk, International (WAR) is a non-profit humanitarian organization based in Wyoming, MI, which builds international and domestic partnerships with organizations working to provide assistance via shelter, basic needs, and educational and/or vocational training to women and children in high risk situations around the world. Although WAR defines 14 areas of risk which they address, they primarily focus on the global human rights abuse of sex trafficking.

Description of the Tasks/Projects Completed

For the duration of my internship, I had two primary projects. The first was to create a state-by-state database of shelters and care centers around the US where victims of trafficking could find safety and restorative care. My second project was to create Summery sheets containing statistics and news articles specific to each state. These summery sheets are used by our president, Rebecca McDonald, during speaking engagements to show that sex trafficking is not only something that happens abroad, or in the next state over, but in every person's own backyard. I was also involved in a number of writing projects, as well as researching and filing potential partnerships for WAR around the world.

Skills/Knowledge Gained Through The Experience

From my internship with WAR, I have not only continued to develop and sharpen my skills in writing and communication, but I have also developed greater skills in research analysis and program development. I have also continued to develop more advanced navigational skills in Microsoft Office Programs.

Favorite Part of the Experience

The most valuable aspects of my internship with WAR are the incredible connections that I have made through my work with WAR. While I may not have made personal connections with each organization I have researched, my knowledge of these organizations have opened my eyes to greater horizons in the social justice world. I have been able to better understand what makes an organization thrive, and what makes them stagnate. I hope to use this knowledge and these connections after I graduate to gain a more long-term position abroad.

How the Experience Influenced Future Career Goals

This experienced has made me much more hopeful and yet more realistic in my future career goals. While in one sense, the sky is the limit as far as where I can go as long as I strive for it. But at the same time, I have realized that my passions and desires have changed throughout my internship, becoming more focused, while also opening my mind to greater possibilities and willing to change my focus so long as I am still serving people around the world who have been exploited or abused.

All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of GVSU.

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