Internship with Transparency International Nepal
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Amina Waltham

Major: B.S Economics, B.A International Politics
Hometown: Cambridge, UK

How did you learn about this opportunity?

Transparency International (TI) is a well known international corruption agency. I decided that I wanted experience in the anti-corruption field and I wanted to work somewhere where I could continue to pursue my interests in Economic Development. I researched TI's international offices and found TI Nepal.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

While I am a British National I am also half Nepali (on my mother’s side) and I used to live in Nepal (from the age of 8 till 10). This meant that I wasn’t travelling to a country that I really considered foreign. However, Nepal is both a developing country and has recently been affected by two major earthquakes. This means that the environment is completely different to that of the United States. Transparency International Nepal is a small office with approximately 30 permanent staffers. Despite this small scale, TIN manages to operate a number of programs through partner organizations and hosts a number of interns throughout the year. The office environment was quite casual but also extremely fast paced. I never felt like the tasks assigned to me were redundant and I felt like they were trying to give me exposure to the variety of work that occurs in an NGO office (I mostly focused on proposal writing). In terms of organization, I learned how important it is to communicate plausible deadlines for work and to prioritize. Most of TI's work is advocacy and outreach based. They both campaign against corruption and offer the public an outlet for corruption grievances. This means that most of their work is focused on marketing and legal activities. While I found these things interesting, I was more interested in activism against corruption.

"I think working overseas is an extremely useful experience to have as it helps you become more flexible."

How did this experience impact you academically?

I am studying both Economics and International Politics with the aim of pursuing a master’s degree in development economics in the future. In my economics classes I’ve been focusing on development economics, but my studies in International Politics have been less focused. After this internship I’ve decided that I need to focus more on political systems and how they function which means focusing on my politics courses. However, this internship has made me more confident that I am studying subjects in which I am interested, which will also help me work in an area in which I am interested.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

My career plans have stayed mostly the same and I’ve become even more certain that I am pursing a career I will enjoy. I would like to continue working in anti-corruption, but would rather work in more of a policy environment. I am thinking of working for development assistance agencies (such as the UNDP, World Bank, UKAid) and working in their anti-corruption departments. I would like to work in an area that would allow me to draft policies that combat corruption. Furthermore, I think I would like a specific focus such as education or health, and try to focus my anti-corruption work towards making those areas more efficient.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students if they are interested in law, advocacy, or human rights work in the future. I think working overseas is an extremely useful experience to have as it helps you become more flexible. I really enjoyed my time at TI and was really happy that I was given work that I found meaningful.

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