Finding His Passion
A summer internship evolved into a “low-risk avenue for self-discovery” for Emporia State University senior Nkem Nwogu of Abuja, Federal Capital Territory, Nigeria.
“I say ‘low-risk’ because internships usually last for a short period of time and, as a result, immersing oneself into an industry can give him/her a pretty good idea regarding their suitability to a particular field or not,” said Nwogu, who is a senior majoring in economics with a concentration in mathematics.
His internship with The Market Project, working remotely at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., immersed him in the roles economics and business play in aiding recovery from complex traumas.
He had been pleasantly surprised that The Market Project work was conducted in an easygoing work environment, when he had anticipated the work would be high-pressure. Instead, he said, his supervisor at the organization made herself available to answer questions and has become a mentor he can call on for professional advice or for help in facing a task.
Placed in charge of economic research for small business enterprise, he applied lessons from microeconomics at Emporia State to analyze the research.
“I could pragmatically apply the various concepts that I had been exposed to in class to a real-life situation,” he explained. “This enabled me to understand the concepts much more, especially since economics as a course can get very theoretical at times.”
He said the projects had been challenging but fruitful. Internship duties included researching and sometimes writing on war-affected women and the economic impact of food security and nutrition in Northern Uganda, trafficking of men and women in Myanmar, analyzing the World Bank’s focus on trauma and its effects on economic development and seeking out institutions and individuals that emphasized support of small and medium-sized businesses.
The most enjoyable and fulfilling assignment came through writing an article about human trafficking in Uganda.
“It evoked strong feelings concerning the degree of mortification that the victims have to endure at the hands of people that would probably consider themselves humane human beings,” Nwogu said. “I honestly feel that was one of the best articles that I had ever written, and I think I found my passion as well.”