Students follow passions with funding from Hiatt

World-of-Work provides stipends for students' unpaid internships

Noam Shouster ’11 works with children at the Women's Equity in Access to Care and Treatment in Rwanda

From the U.S. State Department in Krakow, Poland, to the New England Aquarium Penguin Colony in Boston, students taking part in the Hiatt Career Center's World-of-Work (WOW) internship funding program are following their career passions by learning new skills, enhancing their academics and getting on-the-job experience.

Now in its fourth year, the WOW program awards $3,500 stipends to Brandeis undergraduates who pursue summer internships at organizations that are unable to provide salaries. Applications are due March 24 for summer 2011.

Jackie Kopyt, assistant director of career development at the Hiatt Career Center and the WOW program coordinator, says students are only limited by their imaginations.

"In 2010 alone, we had WOW recipients in 15 different countries and over 20 different industries including banking, lab research, human & social services, law, health care, and the arts," Kopyt says.

Some of the 2010 summer fellows included Nada Eid '11, who interned at the Sunnite Islamic Legal Court of Tripoli in Lebanon; Ashley Zibura '11, who spent time at the Veterinary Practice Dedicated to the Horse in Elizabeth, Colorado; and Noam Shouster '11, who traveled to Rwanda and worked at the Women's Equity in Access to Care & Treatment, an organization that empowers HIV-infected and affected women and children through a variety of programs.

In the 100-day genocide of 1994, an estimated 250,000 Rwandan women experienced multiple episodes of violence and torture. Many of the women contracted HIV, likely as a result of this brutality.

Shouster said that she was constantly challenged throughout the summer experience and that working with Rwandan youth taught her about their history, present-day Rwanda, women's rights issues, herself and humanity. The internship was the beginning of her post-Brandeis career, as she will return to Rwanda after graduation to continue her work at the women's organization.

Shouster was recently named a 2011 Davis Projects for Peace recipient, and will receive a $10,000 grant to continue her work in Rwanda when she graduates. [Read more about Shouster's experience in Rwanda.]

"Brandeis has a long tradition of social justice and experiential learning and WOW is becoming an integral part of that," says Joe Du Pont, dean of the Hiatt Career Center.  "Although many students opt for internships that embody social justice, we welcome and actively encourage students interested in all fields to apply for a WOW grant."

Kopyt suggests that students have their materials reviewed by a Hiatt counselor prior to submitting the application, to ensure that they have set forth clear, realistic, and measurable learning outcomes. Students can visit Hiatt during drop-in hours or schedule an appointment with a counselor by calling (781) 786-3618. 

Hiatt is also offering internship search and WOW application workshops. For upcoming workshops, see Hiatt's event calendar. There is also an online WOW application workshop.

For more information about the WOW program e-mail Jackie Kopyt, assistant director of career development or call (781) 736-3627.

Categories: Humanities and Social Sciences, International Affairs, Student Life

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