After a year of working for New Tactics, I never once stepped foot in the St. Paul, Minnesota office. I only met my coworkers in person one time and yet I was still provided with such a meaningful learning experience at CVT. Although this was a different internship experience than most, I really enjoyed having the opportunity to work with such an amazing team and for a great organization. As a sophomore at George Washington University, I spent hours searching for opportunities to work in the international affairs field in Minnesota for the following summer. Recent classes had sparked my interest in the human rights aspect of international affairs, especially in the Middle East. When I came across CVT and the New Tactics position, I applied immediately as I knew this would be something I was very interested in. Fast forward a year and here I am leaving New Tactics with a new outlook on human rights around the world, how people can effectively implement change in their communities and how important it is to fight for what you believe in.
I feel like I have lived 10 lifetimes just within this last year as our world has been a crazy place. It also makes me feel as if I’ve been a part of the New Tactics team for many years! From the first Zoom call with everyone, I immediately felt welcomed, a real part of the team and not just a person behind a computer screen. I worked on various projects with New Tactics including doing in-depth desk research on numerous countries, writing tactics for the database, and learning about the TMT technology and how activists use it. Another big project I worked on was creating online forums for productive discussions with people who have differing views on topics such racial injustice and politics.
Back in June 2020, I went around Minneapolis and the George Floyd Memorial to photograph the powerful messages that were being spread around the city in beautiful murals. I wrote a blog post about this: Click Here. Recently, I wrote a blog post about Chinese artist named Ai Weiwei who has spent years fighting against human rights abuses by the Chinese government through provocative art pieces:
As I end my time with New Tactics and continue with my studies, I will bring with me many skills that I gained from this internship. This was my first opportunity working with a team in a professional setting albeit via Zoom. I was able to improve my ability to work with a team as well as experience what a fun and inclusive environment work environment feels like. I improved my time management and communication skills, while working to get things done on a deadline (which wasn’t always easy when working from home.) I was also pushed out of my comfort zone to practice public speaking during meetings and in large presentations.
I’d like to thank the amazing New Tactics team for a wonderful experience as an intern during this unprecedented time. Thank you to Emily, Nancy, Lisa, Brent and Sarah! Thank you to my fellow interns, Sariya and Genevieve who became fast friends and great partners for all of our projects together. I’ll have to come back and visit the CVT office and staff in person one day!