Internship provides firsthand experience in non-profit sector

Hometown: St. Louis, MO

Majors: Double majoring in Humanities (Peace and Conflict Studies) and Global and International Studies; double minoring in Business and French

Internship title and organization: Global Chapters Intern at People to People International (PTPI) in Kansas City, Missouri

During her internship Sara worked on a winning grant application awarded to People to People International’s Kigoma, Tanzania-Nyarugusu Camp Chapter for a multi-cultural workshop on HIV/AIDs and SGBV prevention to be a local platform that unifies young people to carefully investigate what could be the root-causes.”

What were your responsibilities during your internship? 

I organized and headed the 2017 Joyce C Hall International College Scholarship Program and the 2017 International Chapter Grant Project. Additional responsibilities included communicating with each chapter regarding updating chapter records, membership renewal, documenting and sharing community service projects, and accomplishments with PTPI international membership via newsletters and social media.

What was your favorite part(s) of the internship? 

One of the programs PTPI offers is a Student Ambassador program – something I participated in while I was in middle school. I went to Europe for three weeks with a group of students, and this experience really made me love history, traveling, and studying culture. It led me to the degrees I’m now pursuing, so it was awesome being able to intern with an organization that has had a significant impact on my life and college career.

How had the classes you’d taken at KU prepared you for the internship?

This internship allowed me to see all the theories and concepts I’ve learned in my classes in action. For example, many of my Peace and Conflict classes have discussed cosmopolitanism, which is essentially PTPI’s framework for peace. Their mission is to enhance understanding and friendship through humanitarian activities and exchanging ideas and experiences. Analyzing concepts in the classroom that are actually being used by international organizations and non-profits to approach real problems in the world adds more weight both to my education and my internship experience.

What did you gain from the experience that will be valuable to you in the future? 

"This internship also taught me tough decision-making skills, through the process of the Scholarship and Grant programs, and how to communicate with people from all over the world."

What do you plan to do next?

This spring is my final semester on the KU Campus, but I will be studying abroad in the fall at Vesalius College in Brussels, Belgium through ISEP Direct. I will be completing a European Peace and Security Studies certificate through classes that analyze the changing nature and challenges of contemporary security and peace issues, and through a high-profile guest lecture series. After graduating in December, I plan to work in the non-profit sector to gain work experience then apply to International Affaires graduate programs.

Why did you choose your majors/minors?

"The Global and International Studies and Humanities programs are perfect for me because they are multidisciplinary and allow me to learn about many different fields – like political science, history, and sociology – so I have been able to customize my college experience."

Global and International Studies requires the study of a language, so I minored in French because France was one of my favorite places I’ve traveled to. I decided to minor in Business after being in a marketing club in high school, and I thought it would be a good addition to a Global and International Studies B.A.

What do you like best about studying in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences at KU?

There is a lot of room for flexibility and studying all the subjects you are passionate about. Because of this multidisciplinary aspect of many KU College programs, I was about to double major and double minor. Studying in the College really allowed me to maximize and make the most out of my college experience.

What would you tell your freshman self?

As a senior, I’ve realized that four years passes pretty quickly. I would tell freshman self to make the most of every experience and opportunity.

KU is such a great school full of tradition, diversity, academic programs, and on-campus organizations. Get involved and take advantage of every KU offers!

Who is your biggest inspiration?

My grandmother has always been a big inspiration in my life. After she was diagnosed with cancer, she decided to make her last years count by taking my family traveling all over the world. She pushed me to partake in the PTPI Student Ambassador program and instilled in me a love of travel and exploration. I will always be grateful for the opportunities she gave me because they led me to pursue these degrees.

Be like Sara, explore courses in Global and International Studies, Humanities, French, and Business.