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Niah Anson ’18
What were your responsibilities as an intern?
As an intern at the Consulate General of Israel to the Midwest, I was responsible for taking notes at our weekly staff meetings as well as collecting information for some of the Consulate employees. This included researching primary election information for our Senior Policy Advisor and finding information about Israel activity at surrounding colleges and universities for our Director of Academic Affairs. My responsibilities also varied as I helped to plan and organize different flagship events, such as our Midwest Jewish Leadership Conference and our Israeli Independence Day Celebration.
What was the most rewarding part of your internship?
The most rewarding part of my internship was acting as the voice of Jewish college students as the Consulate developed programming for students. There is a shift in thinking between professionals and students about what is needed to provide better, more accessible, more beneficial informational pro-Israel education to college students and being part of that bridge of information was very rewarding.
What did you learn about yourself during your internship?
During my internship, I learned about my future career goals and the interests I had that I could pursue in the future. I realized that I may not want to pursue a career in policy, but rather academic advocacy. I learned that I love acting as the voice of Jewish college students and their needs as minorities on campuses. Professionally, I also learned that being quiet is not synonymous with being professional. If you have an idea, concern, or comment, you should make yourself heard.
What role has your internship played in shaping your career path?
My internship played a large role in shaping my future career path. I came to the realization that public policy may not be the route I want to continue down and it encouraged me to research careers and opportunities in advocacy and academic affairs. The support and guidance I received from my supervisors was exceptional and much appreciated. They allowed me to get more involved in the departments that I wished to pursue and helped me to create a strong network of Jewish professionals both within the Chicago area and internationally in Israel. With their help, I was able to receive an internship at the World Jewish Congress’ Representation to the United Nations and UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland that I will be completing in the 2016 Fall semester.
Do you have any advice for students completing internships in your field?
The advice I have for students completing internships in my field is: if you don’t ask, the answer is always “no.” It is important to be an outspoken member of the team. If you have a question, ask. If you are interested in another project or department, ask your supervisor about what you can do to do more work in that area; the worst thing they can say is no. Your supervisors want you to succeed, but they can’t read your mind! As long as your kind and professional, you’ll be surprised that the answer is “yes” more often than not.