During my BA in Politics and International Studies at the University of Warwick I developed an interest in gender and international development, particularly after taking courses in conflict, development and post-colonialism during my year abroad at Uppsala University in Sweden. After working on a programmes study on the gendered impacts of conflict on Palestinian youth in Nablus, I decided to pursue gender studies further. This led me to do an MSc in Women, Peace and Security at the London School of Economics, which I completed in the summer of 2018.
After graduating I quickly decided that I wanted to join the charity sector, to contribute to work on social justice and equality, in the UK and globally. To help me gain experience in the sector I became a Trustee for a youth charity in my local area, enrolled on a 10-month course on the charity sector, and also volunteered as an Education and Events Volunteer at Remembering Srebrenica in Birmingham. Seeing the internship vacancies at HAD, I eagerly applied, as I was excited by the quality of the placements, the potential for personal development, and the work Islamic Relief (IR) and HAD do in the development and humanitarian sector.
I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at HAD so far as a Research and Development (R&D) Intern. I feel valued, supported and sufficiently challenged. I feel that I am doing important work which contributes to HAD’s work and my own personal development. The tasks I have been given are well-suited to the first weeks of an internship, as they have allowed me to express creativity and my own programmes interests whilst learning about HAD and Islamic Relief.
I am particularly excited to have helped organise a workshop with HAD on ‘PVE, Development and Gender’ at the Conflict Research Society Annual Conference. I am also looking forward to working on programmes projects on gender and intersectionality, as well as reviewing the HAD’s Research Fellows programme.
I strongly believe that the internship will help me to start a career in this sector, as it exposes me to projects, work and debates within the humanitarian and development sectors, and the day-to-day operations of a humanitarian programmes academy. I am also developing skills in writing copy-tailored to the audience of an international charity – a new skill after spending five years my writing for academic audiences. Also, I expect the internship to improve my confidence and public speaking, as my role as an R&D intern has allowed me to interact with staff and interns across HAD and IR.