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Internship Uncovers Areas to Strengthen 

Opportunities for studying abroad in France during his sophomore year and completing a summer internship through the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations this year have proven to be distinct advantages for Emporia State University international student Moaz Al Nouri of Damascus, Syria.

Al Nouri, a senior majoring in economics with a minor in business, was assigned to Education for Employment as a daily workplace, and attended seminars twice a week at the host National Council and went with them on site visits weekly, including visiting the CIA headquarters in Virginia. Al Nouri said he was pleased he’d ventured outside his comfort zone to seize opportunities he might not otherwise have.

“Being an international student studying at the U.S., I understand that I need to take advantage of all the opportunities given to me here,” he said. “Both of these summers were the best part of coming to Emporia. ... I wouldn’t be exaggerating if I said they gave me a new perspective and reminded me of what I want in this life.”

During leisure hours, Al Nouri found time to tour the area with other interns, hiking the Great Falls Billy Goat Trail, kayaking and paddle-boarding in the Potomac River and attending his first-ever baseball game at Nationals Park.

“I used to live and work a few blocks away from the White House; I would pass by it every day while walking or biking to work,” he added.

Classroom work had given him a good background of economics and finance needed for the internship, but it was his involvement in several student organizations that enabled him to function well as an intern.

“You learn how to work with other people professionally, it gives you experience and improves your leadership and communications skills,” he explained. “Also, working as an orientation leader for ESU’s Office of International Education helped me be more open with people which ... is really crucial in the working environment.”

With multiple people giving him assignments or asking for his help, he worked on a variety of tasks — consolidating records and special projects for the finance team, reviewing expense reports for multiple offices, helping catalog and document human resources files, translating documents for marketing and communications, creating infographics to train new staff and interns, testing the organization’s survey site and creating travel expense reports “from scratch” for the vice president of the organization.

“The internship really encouraged me to be an active part of an organization,” he said. “Yet it also showed me what I am missing — that while I am in college I should build my resumé and get the highest possible level of experience.”