Shafia joined the first cohort of Islamic Relief Interns whilst studying for her MA in International Relations at Queen Mary University, London. She had varied experience within social science and community engagement having volunteered for organisations such as Street Child. Shafia joined as Conflict Transformation intern within the Policy Department and this has been the  ideal gateway for her to hone and develop research skills and analysing data.

Based in our London Office, her typical daily tasks involve conducting research, codifying this research and then turning it into survey data leading to analysis.

During her time Shafia has been an integral part of three projects: conducting a base-line survey, research project on gender issues in Afghanistan and third was the hosting of an event in Conflict Transformation with her mentor, Lucy.

Among the challenges Shafia faced during her role was adequate time-management as the variety and depth of work required to adequately fulfil her function was significant. However she had an understanding mentor who helped clarify and prioritise tasks. Her tasks also challenge her intellectually and she describes her work as “definitely engaging”.

Shafia’s ambition is to work within the Policy Department of an NGO and her internship opportunity here at Islamic Relief has enabled her to develop the skills and competencies to further pursue her chosen career path.

Shafia has gained an insight into the multi-faceted and complex factors which need to be understood and contextualised before Policy is developed. She has gained an in-depth understanding of how background knowledge is applied in policy formulation.

Shafia’s initial assessment was that the learning curve in her initial period was very steep and enabled her to think proactively and swiftly develop the skills and ability to work to high standards expected from her.

Shafia described her experience as:

“educational, fast paced, eye-opening, interesting – I really enjoyed it. ”