Working at IGE Leaves Lasting Impact on Summer Interns
“By being committed to making Christ relevant and Christians visible in difficult situations, IGE has reminded me that I can and should effectively and systematically connect the commitments of my heart and the interests of my mind with the world around me.”
So says Nathaniel Johnson, a rising senior at Brown University and one of the Institute for Global Engagement’s four summer interns. IGE’s internship program hosts a small group of undergraduates each spring and fall semester, and each summer. Students gain valuable professional and research experience while contributing substantively to IGE’s operations.
Will Shafferman, a rising senior at Furman University, says, “I really felt treated as an integral part of the team and knew what I was doing had a positive significant impact on the organization and the world of religious freedom.” He adds, “As a Christian, I have learned a very valuable lesson that promoting religious freedom for all people and religions is not only admirable, it is biblical.”
Interns were assigned to specific program areas in addition to providing general administrative support. A.J. Wiegand, a rising junior at George Washington University, assisted with IGE’s Vietnam program. He says, “The most enjoyable aspect of this internship thus far has been seeing my work actually advance the goals of the organization. Whether it is giving our president some talking points for a speech, working on fundraising projects/events, or writing grant inquiries, I have had the opportunity to see the tangible results of my work—something that I did not necessarily expect coming in as an intern.”
In addition to their work at IGE’s headquarters, interns are encouraged to attend lectures, discussions, and conferences in Washington. This summer, interns staffed IGE’s annual Global Leadership Forum, attended several briefings on Capitol Hill, and visited the Office of International Religious Freedom at the U.S. Department of State. They also attended a special conference at Nyack College (DC Campus) where IGE hosted a delegation from Vietnam. The Institute also hosted several lunches and roundtables for the interns, including a presentation on reconciliation in Rwanda and a Q & A with law school graduates that offered career advice.
IGE’s commitment to religious freedom had a lasting impact on the summer interns. A.J. adds, “Religious freedom in all of its forms impacts a society for better or for worse in a deeper way than I had originally thought. This basic human right, if given to a population, generally breeds respect for the government, minimizes corruption, and provides a deeper level of understanding and cooperation amongst citizens.”