Name: Zain Abidin
Internship, Co-op or Research Site:Helping Hand for Relief and Development
Position Title: Management Intern
Work Term:Fall 2017
Tell us about your internship, co-op, or research opportunity, including your day-to-day responsibilities.
Helping Hand for Relief and Development is a global humanitarian relief and development organization responding to human sufferings in emergency and disaster situations around the world. In addition to their emergency relief efforts in natural or man-made disasters, they also work on long term relief and development programs. My internship was focused around the management aspect of the branch in Baltimore. My day-to-day responsibilities included coordinating volunteer sessions on a biweekly basis, managing incoming and outgoing shipment, maintaining an organized warehouse for the in-kind work and sending packaged material in containers to many countries including Pakistan, Syria and Rohingya. I also spoke at different events regarding the initiatives that this organization was taking.
Describe the process of obtaining your position. When did you hear of the position and submit your application?
I heard about this position through an alumni network last Summer. A few of my friends had also interned at this organization and I had also volunteered here as well. When I found out that there was an opening I applied for the position in September.
What have you enjoyed the most about your position or organization?
I enjoyed packing gifts for children in areas that have been affected by disasters. The idea that my work was able to bring some joy in the lives of children who have suffered through so much was very fulfilling. Furthermore, some of my colleagues went to some countries and distributed our gifts themselves. Knowing that gifts that were packed and organized by me actually got to the kids and seeing their videos just softened my heart so much and made me love my work even more.
How do you believe you have made an impact through your work?
I believe my work positively affected the lives thousands of people who have been affected by many disasters. As humans it is our responsibility to take care of other people, and I believe I was able to do that through my work.
What advice would you give to another student who is seeking an internship or similar experience?
Start looking for internships as soon as you can, and don't be shy. Most of the internships that I have had required me to step out of my comfort zone. Be brave and apply for anything that interests you. If you get rejected, it's okay. Try again. Rejection is not the same as failure, and you should never let it discourage you.
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