Internship Series: World Affairs Council

JankiJanki Viroja
CAS’16 | International Relations & Psychology
Program Assistant

During the summer of 2014, Janki Viroja worked as a Program Assistant at the World Affairs Council in Connecticut, helping to plan an array of events and programs.

CCD: What were your responsibilities? 

Janki: I assisted the Program Director in the planning and delivery of all World Affairs Council programs. I was required to have knowledge of global affairs and attend all WAC programs during my internship. I had to be organized, be able to learn and adapt quickly, possess excellent communication skills, and multitask. Additionally, my experiences included interacting with Caio Megale of Banco Itau in Brazil; planning a program with the Italian Ambassador, Claudio Bisogniero; coordinating WorldQuest Trivia (a trivia competition based on international affairs); and organizing a program with foreign policy expert, Peter Beinart. I also wrote for the WAC blog and helped out with membership management.

CCD: How did you find the position? What helped you get it? What resources (at BU or elsewhere) did you use?

Janki: I first heard about the organization during office hours with Professor Husain Haqqani in the International Relations department. I asked him if he had any suggestions for internships in Connecticut, which is where I am from. He suggested the World Affairs Council. I contacted the organization, and they were very friendly and eager to speak with me. After I sent in my cover letter and resume, they reached out to me for an interview and ended up offering me the position.

CCD: What was the best thing about the experience? What was the worst?

Janki: The best thing about this internship was that I was able to take initiative on projects. For example, when planning a program with a foreign policy expert, I was put in charge of posting information about the program to all the local/relevant Connecticut online calendars, creating a promotional flyer, media advisory, and press release, and targeting specific groups we wanted to attend. With the WorldQuest Trivia program, I was put in charge of creating the PowerPoint with the questions and answers and making sure the difficulty level was appropriate for the participants.

CCD: What are the top 3 skills you’ve learned from this experience?

Janki: I learned about the extensive measures that WAC employs to increase attendance at events, such as posting to online calendars, targeting specific groups, mailings, phone calls, creating flyers and promotional emails, etc.

CCD: What’s next for you?

Janki: Next summer I’m looking to gain experience at another type of organization related to international relations. Since I’ve already had the opportunity to explore the nonprofit side from WAC, I would like to look into government-related organizations. WAC worked directly with many government leaders so I can use my connections from WAC to find another internship in the area.


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