HIAS Interns Leave Their Mark

By Rachel Nusbaum, HIAS.org

“I was a HIAS U.S. Programs Intern over the summer and honestly had an incredible experience,” said Nasreen Baten-Tschan, a senior at the University of Maryland. She was one of three summer interns working with the U.S. programs team at HIAS headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland.

“The environment is incredibly welcoming and full of unique perspectives. Working with HIAS means working with a force of educated, driven, and dynamic people from all different backgrounds,” said Baten-Tschan. “I honed my research skills and was able to read literature that expanded my personal worldview.”

Tessa Di Mantova is a rising senior at the University of California, San Diego. She described her summer internship with HIAS as “one of most influential and eye-opening experiences I have had in my undergraduate career.” The international studies major said she appreciated the skills she gained from her time at HIAS, as well as getting “an in-depth look into the resettlement world.”

Di Mantova has already seen her work yield concrete results. She helped to design a guided tool for developing employment outreach strategies that was introduced to select HIAS affiliates during a regional training. As part of the training, all affiliate staff went through the tool with the goal of developing individualized employment strategies.

“I felt that my work this summer truly made a difference,” Di Mantova told HIAS.org. “Because of this project and several others, I feel more confident in my work and myself.”

The appreciation is mutual according to their supervisor, Simone Walton. “Nasreen, Olivia and Tessa added real value to the work of U.S. programs during their internship,” Walton said. “In addition to providing project support,they also brought fresh ideas and fresh eyes because they have not been immersed in the resettlement space, and widened our research capacity.”

Olivia Delaplaine, a sophomore at the University of Maryland, College Park also “absolutely loved” her summer internship at HIAS headquarters in Silver Spring. After a thorough orientation on the refugee resettlement process, Delaplaine plunged right in. “I learned more every step of the way, talking to different staff about their experiences working with refugees, researching different refugee populations, and evaluating resettlement programs.”

“What stuck with me most, however, was the kind and welcoming atmosphere at the HIAS office. I truly felt like I was part of a team, a team that valued each and every one of its members. I felt more like a colleague than an intern, and I am so glad I had a chance to contribute to the compassionate and courageous work that HIAS does. Though my internship was just for the summer, I know, thanks to HIAS, that I will stay engaged in the area of refugee resettlement for much, much longer,” Delaplaine said.

Interested in interning with HIAS? Click here to see a list of available positions. 

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