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Read about Ambika's Internship Experience
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Read about Ambika's internship experience:

       As a Summer 2012 JAINA Legislative Intern in Washington DC, not only did I gain some valuable experience that will last a lifetime, but I also made lasting networks and friendships. I spent about a month and half in Washington DC, working with the American Jewish Committee on tasks involving the strong Jewish-Indian-American relationship that has been built over the years. I worked under the Director of Indian-American-Jewish Relations at AJC and under the Director of the Asia-Pacific Institute at AJC. I also had the opportunity to work on some JAINA tasks.            


     One of the most memorable experiences of the internship was an event that AJC had hosted with the Indian Embassy in Washington DC: a reception for a retiring New York Congressman, Gary Ackerman. The reception was held at the home of the Indian Ambassador to the United States, The Hon. Nirupama Rao. AJC was responsible for everything ranging from invitations to food to making sure that everything ran smoothly. The process of putting together this event was a great learning experience. The event was only a success because of the cross-coordination among the various departments at AJC. Even though the event was a part of the Indian-Jewish-American relations department, individuals from various departments made an effort to help us. What I learned from this experience is that without inter-departmental coordination at an organization, it is hard to focus on a mission and objective. This is really the essence of what I’ve learned during this internship. Networking, team coordination, and an independent way of looking at the world.       


     During the course of the internship, I had the opportunity to connect with other Indian interns from various organizations such as the Hindu American Foundation, Sikhlead, etc. I’ve kept in touch with a few of them even till now, almost a year after meeting them. I’ve formed all sorts of networks through this internship!


     As for the office experience itself, it was a great way to see the inner workings of a non-profit organization with a strong mission and cause. The way the members worked together to discuss an issue and come up with ways to bring it to the attention of the nation’s leaders and representatives. I didn’t even feel like an intern when I walked into the AJC office everyday. Everyone would always make sure I felt comfortable and had eaten/ had my daily cup of coffee from the kitchen, etc. One of the greatest things about the Washington DC AJC office was the weekly lunches they organized. Every week one director would sit with all the interns and fellows at lunch and introduce themselves and how to they entered AJC and what their department does in terms of the mission. This way, the interns are not only familiar with the department they are working with, but also with the other departments of the organization so that they have a better understanding of the overall workings of AJC.            


This internship was overall a very educational, yet hands-on learning experience. The skills I’ve acquired, the knowledge I’ve gained, and the relationships I’ve made during this time are to last me a lifetime.

Ambika Pandya

 JALI Intern, 2012


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