I am just about halfway through my internship and I cannot believe how quickly each week goes by! I have mainly been working on longer-term projects each of which has really piqued my interest. Primarily my division of the American Jewish Committee works with UN human rights bodies including the Human Rights Council, The Committee against Torture and a multitude of other bodies that protect human rights on an international scale. I am very excited and eager to be included in many of the projects that pertain directly to these UN bodies. For example, one of the long-term projects I have been working on for about two weeks now is drafting a report on the General Comment negotiations of the Committee against Torture’s 16th session. Essentially what I have been doing is compiling each country’s/ NGO’s comments on the Committees rulings and editing them so they can be presented clearly to a board meeting coming up in two weeks. I am incredibly excited at the prospect of my work being used to aid in negotiations that have a huge impact on many lives globally!
Furthermore, not only am I able to provide information for these UN bodies but I also actually get to see them in action. In fact today I am attending a meeting hosted at the UN in which the UN Office of the Special Advisor on the Prevention of Genocide and the Responsibility to Protect is releasing a plan to prevent incitement with the help of religious leaders. This initiative has been in the works for a few years and JBI (the division of AJC I work for) has supported the participation of some of the contributors in the brainstorming of the program’s creation. As this has finally come to fruition while I am here, I along with my boss, are representing JBI at the presentation. This is just one amongst several of the things I get to attend, monitor, and report on.
This being said, I was not quite aware of the importance of my seemingly mundane work at the beginning of my internship. While on a day-to-day basis the work I am doing mainly involves creating charts on word documents and the occasional excel spreadsheet, when I take a look at the bigger picture when I finish these projects, it becomes much clearer that they actually have a concrete impact and are used by my coworkers to achieve their broader goals. This to me is a value in this internship that I did not necessarily see in some of my other roles in previous summers. Most of the time, I felt that the work I did in years past was simply administrative, time consuming, and largely unimportant in the grand scheme of the company. However, at AJC, I have found that the work I have done and continue to do really is used and appreciated. In this respect, and at this point in my internship, I am incredibly satisfied with my position.