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Internship Leads to Full-Time Job Overseas

An internship helped bridge the gap between the academic and the professional worlds and resulted in a full-time job for Ikbal ben Gaied Hassine, who graduated from Emporia State University in May 2016 with a bachelor’s degree in business management and information systems. The internship also helped her define a primary interest — social work and development — and has spurred her to seek a master’s degree in the near future.

Hassine, an international student from Bizerte, Tunisia, interned as a project assistant with the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations. She was assigned to a non-governmental organization, People Demand Change, a monitoring and evaluation and humanitarian development organization.

She assisted in monitoring and evaluation trainings, reported from site visits, wrote proposals, translated from Arabic to English, managed social media and website, wrote blogs, mapped data and analyzed surveys.

Hassine also took advantage of opportunities for a field trip to the Central Intelligence Agency, visiting the Qatari and Saudi embassies, Congressional hearings and Capitol Hill, at a time when a strike was under way.

On the job, she applied knowledge and skills from management and information systems classes to achieve success as an intern.

“The field of non-profit was a little different, but analytical skills were useful, as you can exploit what you learned and adapt to the new framework,” she explained.

She had been surprised to find an informal work environment and a management style that encouraged participation.

“Our boss was actually a very young man who promoted a relaxed culture,” Hassine said. “Every idea or suggestion was valued and given opportunity to be implemented.”