Oxfam is a global organization working to end the injustice of poverty. They help people build better futures for themselves, hold the powerful accountable, and save lives in disasters.
The Pan American Development Foundation assists vulnerable and excluded people and communities in the Americas to achieve sustainable economic and social progress, strengthen their communities and civil society, promote democratic participation and inclusion, and prepare for and respond to natural disasters and other humanitarian crises.
This summer I interned with Oxfam and Pan American Development Foundation (PADF). Both organizations have taught me a lot, not only about international development, but more importantly, about work culture in Washington DC. Since starting my work, I have been offered networking opportunities I could have never imagined receiving in places other than DC. For example, since PADF is the development arm of the Organization of American States (OAS), I interacted with multiple diplomats and private sector personnel from across Latin America.
My work with Oxfam allowed me to meet numerous practitioners of international development, including top officials from some of the world’s best-known NGOs. Oxfam also opened my awareness towards the impact of development. My role as a research assistant allowed me to gain insight on how international non-governmental organizations (INGOs) operate both internally and externally in the quest to address global societal problems. I investigated how Oxfam and other organizations see their role within the international community, and what their views are on what these roles should be. The position allowed me to learn about the field of development on-the-job, which was extremely beneficial since I did not have a lot of experience in the industry beforehand.
As part of PADF, I assisted staff in conducting research, developing methodologies and communications products, and managing projects for our Caribbean programs. PADF offered a hands-on, multicultural environment where I gained practical program management and implementation skills and a collegial atmosphere of professionals dedicated to creating a hemisphere of opportunity for all.