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LBJ School Students Travel the Globe to Participate in Sought-After Internships

AUSTIN, Texas-- May 27, 2009-- Following the close of the Spring semester, many LBJ School students will be embarking to destinations across the country and around the globe fulfilling internships as student practitioners in their relative areas of interest.

The LBJ School internships are designed to provide students the sought-after skills to help them succeed in an increasingly globalized world. All master's degree students at the LBJ School are required to complete an internship as part of over-all degree plans designed to give students the hands-on experience necessary to become competitive in a multitude of policy areas in both the public and private sectors.

"The internship experience provides the students with an opportunity to acquire relevant or high-level experience in their areas of interest and allows them to utilize the skills they acquired during their first of graduate studies," said Lana Morris, career counselor in the Office of Student and Alumni Programs (OSAP). "As for resources available to the students, I provide different workshops including some on interview skills and resume workshops. We compile a database of internships that previous students have done for the students’ reference. And finally, Kennard Wright, a program coordinator in OSAP, is also here to assist students and put them in contact with alumni in different cities or policy areas."

Among the first and second year students participating in internships this summer is Bonnie Doty, a Master of Global Policy Studies (MGPS) student, will be traveling to Ethiopia to perform field research as a micro-finance intern for A Glimmer of Hope (AGOH) Foundation, a non-profit foundation working to significantly reduce, if not eliminate, poverty in Ethiopia.

"As a micro finance intern, I will first conduct a comprehensive examination of the AGOH project, practices, and operations over the past three years, as well as the micro finance institutes in-country," said Doty. "My objective will be to deliver a quantitative and qualitative analysis of the impact of their efforts on the lives of Ethiopian small entrepreneurs and their communities."

Doty feels that because micro-finance is a relatively new mechanism in the international development field, there are few opportunities to study it in an academic setting. By traveling to Ethiopia, Doty hopes to gain the kind of hands-on experience that will help her in future career goals.

"As a MGPS student, my focus is international development, and I plan to continue working in that field upon graduation," said Doty. "So, my internship is absolutely in line with my career goals, as I need to be well versed in many different development models before going back into the workforce."

Emily Joiner, an MGPS student, will also be traveling outside of the United States for an internship.

"I am working for the International Accountability Project, a San Francisco-based NGO that works primarily on the issue of involuntary resettlement in development projects funded by international lending institutions," said Joiner. "My title is Summer Research Fellow, and I will be in Peru analyzing the implementation of IFC environmental and social performance standards, particularly with regard to involuntary resettlements and indigenous rights in extractive industry projects."

According to Joiner, she has a long-term interest in looking at how international aid and lending organizations set their priorities, conduct their projects, and impact communities in the developing world.

"I also have a personal interest in Latin America more generally, so the position speaks to those two areas of interest," said Joiner. "My pre-LBJ background was in these issues, and this are of work is something I hope to pursue in the future."

Related:

University of Texas at Austin undergraduate students Jennifer Aguirre and Ausannette Garcia blog about their experiences as Intellectual Entrepreneurship (IE) interns where they attended guest speakers and courses at the LBJ School of Public Affairs and other graduate schools at the University.   The IE internships allow undergraduate students to interact with faculty and graduate student mentors and focuses on creating cross-disciplinary and multi-institutional collaborations designed to produce intellectual advancements with a capacity to provide real solutions to society's problems and needs.

For Jennifer Aguirre’s blog, visit: https://webspace.utexas.edu/cherwitz/www/ie/j_aguirre.html

For Ausanette Garcia’s blog, visit: https://webspace.utexas.edu/cherwitz/www/ie/ausannette_garcia.html