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AAA Intern – Juliana Benington

As of today, I have been in Washington DC for two weeks.  I am happy to report that I can finally navigate the Metro and feel well grounded in my internship.  My name is Juliana Bennington and I am one of the two interns at the American Anthropological Association this summer.  My off-site placement is with the International Center for Research on Women, which is a global research institute dedicated to empowering women, advancing gender equality and fighting poverty in the developing world.  I am working on their Gender-Based Violence team which works to reduce violence against women as well as improve gender relations.  In addition to this work, I spend two days a week at the American Anthropological Association, helping with social media and gathering information on current events which are relevant to anthropology. I am currently a rising senior at Wheaton College in Massachusetts.  My major is anthropology and I am pursuing minors in economics, physics and public policy.  Prior to coming to DC, I spent six months in Geneva, Switzerland, taking classes and interning at the World Health Organization.  It was during my time in Geneva that I first heard about the internship opportunity with the AAA.  I received emails from nearly all of the anthropology professors telling students to apply to this new program.  After reading through the description of the gender internship, it seemed like a perfect opportunity for me.  I have mostly focused my study of anthropology on health and violence.  While there is much overlap between my academic focus and the internship, I was excited to be able to look at the issue of violence from a non-health perspective.   I was also very excited about the possibility of being at an institution where the anthropological perspective was valued and desired.  After submitting my application, I was nervous.  I thought that there was no way that I would get such an interesting and exciting internship.  When I finally received my congratulatory email, I was in disbelief.  I feel honored to have received this internship and to be one of the first two interns which the AAA has hosted. I am very fortunate in that my supervisors at the International Center for Research on Women are dedicated to making my experience there rewarding.  They have placed me on two interesting projects and invited me to the related meetings.  I have felt very included and like my input and opinions are valued by them.  They have also laid out deliverables so that I will be able to contribute to their work in a meaningful way. At the AAA office, I have been working on keeping the social media outlets up-to-date with news relevant to anthropology.  I have also been doing background research to help inform some of the AAA committees on decisions which they are in the process of making. So far, my internship has been very exciting and educational.  I am happy to be expanding my skill set while producing useful work.  Though the split internship has been hard at times, as I spend Monday, Tuesday and Thursday at the International Center for Research on Women and the remaining days at the AAA, I feel that it allows me to stay on my toes and not get too bogged down in a daily routine. I would like to thank my wonderful anthropology professors at Wheaton College, who made me aware of this internship and helped to become as passionate about anthropology as they are.  I would like to thank the AAA for hosting me and for the wonderful experience they are giving me.  I look forward to what the next few weeks will bring.

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