Internship Experiences: Arza Helm

This summer’s posts feature University of Utah students’ experiences in spring and summer internships.

Arza Helm, Senior, Economics, Political Science, International Studies

Internships are like gateways to a world of possibilities, offering invaluable experiences that can shape our future endeavors. Reflecting on my internship at the Princess Taghrid Institute in Amman, Jordan, I am filled with gratitude for the opportunities it presented and the profound impact it had on my personal and professional growth.

At the Princess Taghrid Institute, I was entrusted with diverse responsibilities that allowed me to contribute to meaningful initiatives. Working closely with the Director and Project Manager, I organized logistics for the EWA Women Initiative Forum, an international women’s forum focused on networking with women that are hoping to do good in the world. Additionally, I played a pivotal role in planning and executing a basketball program for children at a local orphanage. I also drafted grant proposals to expand initiatives for women and orphans, providing opportunities to marginalized populations in Jordan. Furthermore, I assisted the “Smile Caravan” in diagnosing learning disorders in rural areas, opening my eyes to the pressing healthcare challenges faced by underserved communities. With such a wide variety of tasks, this was a great chance to explore my strengths and passions.

Before embarking on my internship journey, I wish I had known more about the local customs, traditions, and language in Jordan. Although I adapted quickly, having a deeper cultural understanding from the outset would have helped me forge even stronger connections with the people I worked with, since most did not speak English.

My internship at the Princess Taghrid Institute has been a great experience. It has instilled in me a sense of adaptability and cross-cultural communication skills. Coordinating logistics for the EWA Women Initiative Forum taught me to thrive under pressure and manage multiple tasks efficiently. Planning the basketball program taught me the value of collaboration and the power of teamwork in achieving impactful outcomes. Drafting grant proposals enhanced my writing and persuasive skills, while assisting the “Smile Caravan” deepened my compassion for those in underserved communities. Embracing photography as a means to create marketing materials cultivated my creativity and appreciation for the arts.

While my internship experience has not had a significant influence on my career aspirations, it has reinforced my commitment to making a positive difference in society. The exposure to different facets of project management, communication, and social outreach during my internship has illuminated problem areas in the world that I hope to contribute to the solution of.

For students seeking to embark on an internship journey, my advice is simple: seize every opportunity with an open mind and a willingness to learn. Be proactive in seeking guidance from professors and advisors.  There are many opportunities waiting for you to just ask about them. It may seem too costly to participate in an internship, but there is always money that can be applied for. Lastly, be curious, embrace diversity, and immerse yourself in the culture of the organization you intern with, as these experiences will expand your horizons and enrich your journey.

My internship at the Princess Taghrid Institute has been an absolutely wonderful experience, and I encourage every student to embark on their own internship journey. These opportunities can unveil untapped potential and open doors to a brighter and more purposeful future.