Internship Blog Series: Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect

Internship Blog Series: Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect

My name is Stephanie Miller. I am a senior undergraduate student in the Diplomacy and International Relations program with a secondary major in Religious Studies and a minor in Arabic. I completed a research internship at the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect in Manhattan, New York.

The Global Centre is a research and advocacy organization that specializes in war crimes, genocide, ethnic crimes, and crimes against humanity. It works with governments, regional bodies, and other NGOs to operationalize the principles of the Responsibility to Protect doctrine into policy frameworks. It also monitors over 20 country situations either at risk or currently committing mass atrocities. As independent institutions, non-profits like the Global Centre are instrumental in ensuring accountability and encouraging inter-governmental action to prevent mass atrocity, and I had a wonderful time working with them.

My decision to pursue this internship was based in curiosity. Mass atrocities are crimes that make international headlines every day, but the corresponding prevention agenda is not something that people usually recognize, even in the classroom. The Global Centre works to bridge the gap between policy and responsible action, calling for the international community to commit to the principles outlined by the Geneva Convention and honor their agreements to protect civilians across the globe. I learned that while this work is not glamorous, it is entirely necessary.

Interning at the Global Centre taught me the difference between humanitarian work and human rights advocacy, cultivating a newfound interest in both. Prior to this internship, I thought that the two terms were mutually interchangeable, and I found that this a common misconception often overlooked. This experience taught me new and transferable skills that are applicable to both fields, honing practical expertise in report writing and analysis, oral communication, conflict mediation, and public engagement. I don’t think I could have found a more supportive and encouraging environment as I developed these new skills, and I look forward to carrying them into my career.

One of the challenges I faced in the beginning of my internship was separating myself from my work. The subject material I was dealing in daily was sometimes difficult to process, and in order to succeed in the position, I had to learn how to leave work in the office rather than take it home with me. I began setting healthy boundaries for myself before I could devote my time and energy to a mission that I quickly grew to care about. This internship taught me more than just practical skills – it taught me a life lesson that many don’t learn until much later, and for this I will always be grateful.

My advice to students looking for internships is to not limit yourself to searching only in the field you are interested in. Diversifying your interests enables you to take advantage of opportunities that you may not have had otherwise. My career goals were vastly different going into this internship than they are now. Working at the Global Centre made me re-evaluate my priorities and consider what I really want to do with my degree after I graduate, which is something I do not think I would have been forced to reckon with if I had worked anywhere else. Internships do not always change your outlook on life, but mine did. I gained new skills, new interests, and a new perspective on the field I want to go into.

Internship Blog Series: Mission of the Dominican Republic to the UN, Geneva

Internship Blog Series: Mission of the Dominican Republic to the UN, Geneva

My name is Isabel Deluna, and I am a Diplomacy student at Seton Hall. Switzerland was wonderful: being surrounded by multilateral organizations and diplomats from all over the world made my internship at the Dominican Republic Mission to the UN very interesting.  Over the summer, a new Ambassador to the Dominican UN was chosen, and I spent much of my time preparing for his arrival by renewing and updating systems and archives.

At the mission, my primary responsibility was to prepare two types of reports for the Minister of Foreign Affairs at the Dominican Republic following UN meetings. We reported verbal notes for the United Nations to notify of activities or requests, as well as “oficio” reports, which were special reports sent to the Dominican Republic to inform the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of mission developments and changes in events or circumstances. I prepared each report with the information provided and entered them into the record system. Everything at the mission must be put on their record, and the reports were vital to fulfilment of the mission. In addition, I frequently assisted during United Nations sessions and meetings with Dominican Republic participants, helping active participants and observers alike.

I believe the internship helped me to build my professional network. I met a great many Ambassadors and diplomats from multiple missions in Geneva who shared their experiences with me and made recommendations on strategies for my future career. I believe it is important to know the missions’ systems as well as how they manage their representation at the United Nations.

I attended sessions that related to a variety of important topics, including migration, human rights, and indigenous groups. The sessions had a great impact on me, because I was able to see the way diplomats interact with each other and express concern and defend certain topics for the benefit of their respective countries. I feel I gained an understanding of their knowledge and strategies, and thus I learned how to think strategically and manage my expression of my opinions. I believe I can apply much of what I learned in future classes and discussions.

Throughout my internship, I gained skills that will help me ascertain my position on topics of importance as well as maintain and defend it, which amplifies my ability to analyse problems and situations on diverse topics. I am very grateful I was given the opportunity to improve my skills in a direct, diplomatic setting, and I would especially recommend the internship to those who are interested in the UN!

Carnegie Council on Ethics in International Affairs Internship

Carnegie Council on Ethics in International Affairs Internship

Emily Fox, M.A. May 2017
Carnegie Council on Ethics in International Affairs Internship

This spring, I had the opportunity to intern with the Carnegie Council on Ethics in International Affairs (EIA). I worked for Ethics & International Affairs, a journal publishing articles on current normative and ethical issues in foreign policy and international relations. One of my duties as an Editorial Intern was to act as the first point of assessment for all incoming submissions. In order to succeed at this task, I needed to have not only a strong theoretical background, but also a degree of familiarity with a wide array of current events. Thankfully, the School of Diplomacy has prepared me for these topics.

One of the most prominent debates in international relations ethics regards the policy and principle of the Responsibility to Protect, and many of the submissions I reviewed dealt with this topic. The knowledge I gained at the School’s United Nations Summer Intensive course was incredibly valuable for formulating assessments of these articles. Being able to hear firsthand from experts such as Hugh Dugan and Ed Luck really strengthened my background on the complexity of these issues and the opportunities and constraints the UN must navigate.

My skills in writing and editorial judgement were strengthened considerably by this internship, and I expanded my knowledge of international affairs by reading articles and essays by scholars. I learned a great deal about publishing and the peer-review process, and am able to participate and contribute in high-level meetings. Though I was lucky to have several years of professional experience prior to being hired at EIA, I have found that each professional environment teaches me something new about organization, communication, and workflow.

Should I choose to pursue a career as an editor, I will be prepared as my internship with EIA taught me a great deal about the requirements and challenges in the field, and has shown me the best practices for working through different stages of publication. As an intern, I often juggled several projects at once. My team at EIA was ready to provide guidance on prioritization and organization, which allowed me to complete my tasks efficiently without sacrificing quality.

The assignment I was most excited to complete at EIA was my book review. Each intern is invited to contribute a short review of a book of their choice for publication online and in the print journal. Because I could choose my book, I was able to pick something in an area in which I am interested. Not only was I able to read a book that interested me, but I also gained valuable writing experience from the exercise.

During my time at the internship, I tried to incorporate feedback whenever possible and volunteered for additional work when able. While I still have many opportunities for improvement, I think that applying these principles helped me to be successful thus far.

I would highly recommend my internship to others. The Carnegie Council is an excellent institution and a great place to be connected to. My coworkers have made me feel like a true member of the team, and their advice and guidance has been incredibly helpful for my professional development.


Internship Blog Series: World Policy Institute Pt. II

wpiAn amazing opportunity came for me this week that was completely unexpected. I was invited as an intern of the World Policy Institute to attend a panel event at the United Nations discussing Hate Speech and Incitement to Genocide. This two-hour event featured a panel of diverse experts ranging from the Special Advisor to the Secretary-General on the Prevention of Genocide, Adama Dieng, to the current Ambassador of Norway to the UN, Geir Pedersen, to other practitioners in the field. The audience itself was diverse, with representation from several ambassadors, NGOs, and media groups. The discussion focused on what constitutes hate speech and how some forms of hate speech can catalyze mass violence and then turn into genocide. With views from journalists, humanitarian groups, and the United Nations staff, I was able to learn a great deal about a subject that directly corresponds with my own research interests. This opportunity showed me that this internship has and will continue to give me several advantages for advancing my career as I meet the key practitioners in the field.

Internship Blog Series: Amnesty International USA

One Billion Rising Rally in Time Square, New York, NY

One Billion Rising Rally in Time Square, New York, NY

One of the coolest activities I have done so far, was participating in Amnesty International USA’s rally to support the One Billion Rising movement. About 30 of us marched down the streets of Times Square, NYC decked out in AIUSA gear and armed with signs, ready to spark attention to our cause.

We gathered at the center of Times Square, chanting and dancing to stop the violence against women. The rally was led by Thenjiwe McHarris, Senior Campaigner at Amnesty International, who gave a motivating speech that caught the attention of many passer-byes. The purpose of the rally was to promote awareness about the issue of violence against women and inform people about the VAWA (Violence Against Women Act). We hoped that with this rally people would take action, especially on the 10 IAR cases of gender-based violence. This Campaign is a movement that spanned throughout many cities in the US (Washington, D.C, San Francisco, Chicago, and Atlanta) and throughout the globe.

Being a part of this campaign was a unique experience that brought to life the type of grass-root campaigning AIUSA is known for. I was able to learn more about campaigning and organizing during this experience which is valuable in my chosen career path. It was also a chance to be a part of the process to end violence against women and promote equality.

Who can say that they danced around NYC for an hour as part of their internship? I had a great time; but more importantly, as a woman, it was empowering to rise for women’s rights, something I strongly believe in.

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