I came to AHA in my senior year of college, with a background in theatre and politics – not exactly the most conventional pairing. I knew that I wanted to head into human rights, but was more than a little unsure of what that meant. As much as I wanted to work in human rights, I also needed to work somewhere I could learn along the way and where I could try lots of different things until I found the right fit. And that was how, a few months later, I found myself sitting at a desk switching between researching state female genital mutilation (FGM) laws, writing an article about honor violence in films, and learning how to edit a website.
When a friend recently asked me to describe a traditional day of work at AHA, I had to respond that there honestly was no typical day. Odds are it would in some way involve me waking up about 10 minutes late and running like crazy to the train to get to class. But on any given day of interning with the AHA Foundation I could find myself doing anything from interviewing an activist for a newsletter, to testing our online training, to designing an infographic.
But given all that, here’s the truly great thing about my time interning with AHA: it was made clear from day one that I was allowed to have my own ideas, opinions and thoughts. In fact, they are encouraged. Interning with AHA has not been about blindly repeating a few stock phrases, or filing mail, day in and day out (although I’ve certainly done that second one on multiple occasions). Instead, it has been a workplace in which I’ve been pushed to examine our work from multiple angles, form rigorous opinions, and then invited to share them with a team genuinely interested in what each voice has to say. In the field of women’s rights, this care in language and commitment to ensuring that multiple voices are heard and respected is critically important.
I feel so very fortunate to have had the opportunity to spend the past year working in an environment that is not only committed to making a difference in the lives of women and girls, but a difference in the lives of its employees and all those it touches.
I’m also thrilled to be the one to announce that the AHA Foundation is currently seeking new interns. Whether you have a background in or passion for human rights, social work, global health, or something else entirely, we invite you to submit a resume and cover letter to firstname.lastname@example.org.