Applying knowledge into practice

Faculty of Social Sciences
From the Field

By Simone

Student, Criminology

Picture of a bag with some little international flags on it.
“Deciding to do this internship has been one of the best decisions I have made throughout my university experience.”

Simone,Honours Bachelor of Social Sciences in Criminology, Forum of Federations, MENA project, Ethiopia, Project Support

By participating in an internship, I am developing new skills and knowledge about topics I have not previously studied in depth. I am a criminology student, and the NGO I am working for is the Forum of Federations. I am working on their MENA project with a team in Jordan, and a team in Ottawa. The MENA project aims to empower women to take on positions of leadership and works on increasing inclusivity in governance in the Middle East and Northern Africa regions. This is the first time I am doing work that feels impactful which has been quite fulfilling. Taking part in this internship is also a great experience because it is a shift from the typical school semester that I am accustomed to. Personally, I have been really enjoying this semester doing the internship compared to most terms when I am in classes full time.

At the Forum, there is a focus on federalism and governance. As a criminology student, I have not studied these topics at great length before. Although this may seem like a disadvantage at first glance, I have found it very interesting to learn about new topics and broaden my understanding of international governance and decentralization. I have also been able to research topics including women’s empowerment which has been enlightening. By coming into the experience with a criminology background, I am able to view certain topics from a different perspective than others who might have been studying political science for example.

It has seemed challenging at times to see how what we learn in class will be relevant to real job experiences. By doing this internship, it has opened my eyes to different possibilities that I was previously unaware of. It can be disheartening at times in school when it feels like there are no good options for someone graduating with a bachelor’s degree in social science. However, this internship is a great opportunity for students to see potential opportunities and apply the knowledge we have been learning for years into a real-life experience. Being able to apply knowledge that we have learned throughout our degrees and utilizing research skills aids in gaining confidence that even as an intern, we are valuable assets.