Jayde DeGraff is an undergraduate student who is passionate about human rights and motivated to make a difference in the lives of women and children. If you’re interested in learning how remote interns assist NGOs and organizations around the world with access to justice and socio-economic empowerment, read on! Jayde shares more with us, to provide insight into how she developed her technical legal expertise, as a remote intern for Legal Support for Human Rights Advocacy (hosted out of Tanzania)!
Hi Jayde! What was like getting started with this remote Legal Support for Human Rights Advocacy internship?
I had a lot of preparation from my Program Manager at Intern Abroad HQ before starting my internship. My experience was great and more structured than I had initially thought, given that I participated in a remote internship.
I was introduced to my supervisors a month before I commenced my internship and I met them in an online session where I was introduced to the host organization, got to ask questions, and had a virtual cultural orientation.
My supervisors provided me with some background information and advice about successfully interning with my host organization - this was very helpful!
In addition to this, I was also given an intercultural preparation video about Tanzania to watch where it explained about relevant cultural aspects when doing an internship with an organization based in Tanzania.
What were your roles and responsibilities as a remote intern?
I actively engaged in various tasks that contributed to the overall success of my host organization. I worked closely with my internship supervisor and was responsible for studying case files and handling the necessary paperwork effectively.
As I had prior expertise in the area, I was also given the opportunity to design educational materials focused on gender-based violence or children’s rights with the aim of raising awareness within the community.
I also played a significant role in the identification of legal issues, particularly related to human rights or gender-based violence and contributed to assessing response and capacity gaps. Based on my findings, I offered suggestions or assisted in the development of effective strategies to address these critical situations. With my supervisor’s mentorship, I meticulously analyzed relevant information concerning legal issues specific to my assigned area.
How did your role as a remote intern make a difference?
In the short term, my involvement helped streamline the administrative processes, ensured accurate documentation, and contributed to the smooth functioning of the organization. Simultaneously, the educational materials I designed aided in raising awareness and promoting a better understanding of gender-based violence or children’s rights within the community.
In the long term, my contributions in identifying legal issues and offering strategic solutions helped the organization strengthen its response mechanisms, developed sustainable strategies to combat human rights violations and gender-based violence, which resulted in creating a positive and lasting impact on the overall mission and goals of the organization.
What challenges did you encounter and how did you overcome them?
During this remote internship, I faced the challenge of managing multiple responsibilities and prioritizing my time effectively. To overcome this, I implemented a systematic approach to time management. I created a detailed schedule containing all my tasks and commitments, enabling me to visualize my workload and make any necessary adjustments. I prioritized tasks based on urgency and importance, dedicating specific time slots to internship responsibilities while ensuring a work-life balance by setting aside time for myself.
To overcome communication barriers caused by the time difference, I effectively used technology, regularly checked emails and messaging platforms (like WhatsApp) to stay updated and responsive to my team. I also practiced proactive communication with my supervisors, informed them in advance of potential conflicts and sought assistance with adjusting deadlines when needed.
Throughout this internship, I continually evaluated and changed my time management approach to optimize efficiency, identifying and addressing any problems that arose. This allowed me to successfully manage the challenges of working in a different time zone and fulfill my responsibilities.
What were your top highlights from this internship experience?
The relationship I formed with my supervisor during my internship is one of my most treasured memories. Her constant warmth and support throughout each session had a big impact, especially considering how early we met. She showed genuine interest in learning from me and I felt the same way about her. I value our friendship and I look forward to keeping in touch with her even after the internship ends. Another memorable moment was giving my first presentation about the government structure of the USA.
What were your most significant outcomes from this internship?
Surprisingly, my most significant learning points were not just cultural, but they were character-based due to the structure of this internship. The significance of excellent time management and adaptability was one important lesson I learned. The internship’s remote nature further showed the significance of effective and prompt communication. Also, managing a remote internship in a foreign time zone highlighted the importance of independence and self-motivation.
This internship role allowed me to achieve my long-term goal of being able to learn more about court processes in both America and Tanzania. I learnt about the governance system in Tanzania and I was asked to research the authoritative powers in America (my home country). As a result, I gained research skills that would benefit me greatly in my future career as an attorney.
It was eye-opening to take part in a remote legal internship for Tanzania. Despite being geographically far from the nation, having the chance to contribute to such a vital cause from afar gave me significant insights into the legal difficulties encountered by women and children in Tanzania.
The relevance of technology and its capacity to overcome geographic boundaries in the support of human rights was underscored by working remotely on this internship.
My capacity to conduct research remotely improved my legal knowledge and strengthened my conviction that digital platforms have the potential to bring about constructive change.
Additionally, this remote position gave me the chance to engage with people in Tanzania who are striving to defend women’s and children’s rights, establishing a sense of unity and inspiring me to continue to pursue a career in law.
After completing this internship, what are you inspired to do next?
I’m inspired to advance both professionally and personally after completing this program. I want to expand on the information and experiences I gained from this remote internship by looking for chances to use them in practical situations like volunteering with domestic and international groups that support the rights of women and children.
I also hope to participate in conferences, workshops, and webinars to deepen my knowledge base and to network with like-minded professionals.
I’ve been fortunate to forge connections and relationships during this internship and I intend to stay in touch with my supervisors from my host organization to continue collaborating with them as I pursue a career dedicated to human rights and legal activism.
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