This summer, I have been in Rome, Italy, working for the UN World Food Programme. I have examined over 200 projects in 80+ countries to better understand capacity strengthening in humanitarian contexts—in particular, how to create systems for efficient and sustainable social protection.

Time and time again, I draw from the lessons I learned this past semester at Yale, where I took a class on Moral Dilemmas in Humanitarian Action. The class was taught by the former director of Medecins Sans Frontieres and we tackled issues around balancing the importance of capacity building and the urgency and complexity of crisis environments. In addition to aligning with my academic interests, this internship has been a great avenue by which to advance my career goals as well.

After graduation, I hope to enter the field of social innovation, and doing so requires a comprehensive understanding of the modern trajectories of international development and the evolving roles of those that take part in it. Working at WFP has given me great perspective on the UN system and how modern tools and approaches are being used to tackle the world’s most pressing issues. In addition, being in Rome for the summer with all this great coffee and pizza are pretty great bonuses, too!