Making the Most of Your International Internship: The Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation
This summer I interned at the nonprofit humanitarian organization, The Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation in Hanoi, Vietnam. As a research intern, I worked with the mental health department in conducting research on low to middle income countries with comparable mental health systems to Vietnam, which will ultimately contribute to the literature review of a countrywide mental health assessment survey. Having no technical or formal training in the field of public health prior to my arrival, it initially felt daunting to take on such a task. However by meeting and embracing this challenge head on, I discovered its value not only in the knowledge I gained and the skills I acquired, but also the broader connections I was able to make to my major in International Relations. Throughout my discussion, I hope to convey to students seeking prospective internships that taking on unexpected roles is beneficial and an integral part in developing skills beyond their majors.