Being a Research and Projects intern at IARS has been an invaluable experience.  

To begin with a clichéd but accurate sentiment, this internship has vastly improved my confidence. Since my first day, I’ve been trusted with completing important, meaningful tasks. I’ve conducted research, evaluated projects, written blog posts, contributed to reports, compiled a response to an open policy consultation, and participated in an international conference. Before this internship, I would not have advocated my ability to perform these tasks. In fact, I didn’t think I’d even get the internship. The consistent support and positive feedback I’ve received has developed my sense of self-competence and highlighted the extent of my abilities.

Furthermore, my time at IARS has increased my sense of civic empowerment. For me, the current climate breeds pessimism, and prior to this internship, social and political issues had started to seem overwhelming and irreparable. However, working with a charity which successfully tackles such a broad range of problems with diverse, innovative methods has shifted my focus and enabled me to see that there are solutions that I can contribute to. Indeed, I hope to continue addressing social issues in my future line of work.

IARS has also taught me the importance of collaboration. At the conference, I observed how international discussions, such as those about specific social issues faced in different countries and the best practices utilised, allow for deeper understandings of society and encourage new ideas. Additionally, collaboration is involved in every project of IARS through the adoption of user-led and peer-reviewed methods. The diverse evaluations and contributions generated by these collaborative methods allow practices to be continuously improved and so for high quality results to be produced. During my upcoming MRes in Psychology, I will look to incorporate factors of this research methodology in my work and seek collaborations and user feedback to improve the quality of my results.

I am grateful for the diversity of my internship at IARS, moreover. I have learnt about restorative justice, child abuse, refugees, marginalization, early school leaving, unemployment, social policies, and more, alongside learning about the operations of a charity and its projects. I feel my understanding of society has increased, and I am now even more passionate about working towards increased social cohesion and equality.

Overall, this internship has broadened my perspective, increased my knowledge, and spurred my interest in social issues. I have had the pleasure of meeting and working alongside such lovely, interesting people who have helped me develop and refine my skills. I am very grateful for everyone at IARS, especially Maija and Romina. This experience has helped shape me personally and professionally, and it will stick with me.

We are truly grateful for Rebecca’s hard work and contributions at IARS, and we would like to wish her the best of luck with her studies! She will always have a place at IARS, thank you Rebecca