Internship Experience with WITNESS

This summer, I interned at an international NGO (nongovernmental organization) called WITNESS based in Brooklyn, NY. WITNESS is an independent nonprofit organization which focuses on training individuals to use video as a powerful tool to fight human rights abuses and supporting video advocacy around the world.

As a social media/digital engagement intern, I worked on a number of projects such as launching and curating the organization’s Instagram account, creating frequent blog content, reviewing social media account analytics and live tweeting human rights events.

It was a positive and challenging experience for me because I learned a lot about living on my own in the city, having different responsibilities as part of the digital engagement team and creating interesting and thought provoking content for a human rights focused blog. I worked with some extraordinary people with backgrounds in liberal arts, the arts, business and international relations plus experience in the nonprofit sector. I was able to attend different human rights events as well as volunteer for the Human Rights Watch Film Festival and represent our organization at a panel event at the United Nations.

My opportunity to be a summer intern at WITNESS was made possible through the Human Rights Institute at UConn. They have a few placements for students who are interested in human rights related internships. Another place to check for internships at nonprofit organizations is Careers for the Common Good, as well as HuskyCareerLink for general internship postings.

Finally, here are a few tips for students looking to intern in NYC next summer:

  • Lots of universities offer summer housing (between 6-12 weeks) to city interns, such as NYU, School of Visual Arts, The New School, Columbia University, Fashion Institute of Technology, etc.
  • As a college student, you will probably be working with minimal funds. Create a budget to manage your expenses since food, housing and transportation cost more in the city.
  • Find out if you are eligible for course credit for your internship. Speak to your advisor and internship supervisor and think about additional tuition costs associated with adding your experience to your transcript.
  • Connect with your fellow interns. They can come from various colleges, states and backgrounds and can offer unique perspectives on whatever you are working on as well as opportunities for networking in the future.
  • Find time in your schedule to go out and see the city. Half of your learning experience is when you are away from your desk!

– Kat Connelly ‘16