It’s hard to believe how quickly my time at the ADL is flying by, and that it’s already time to write my mid-point blog post. Having now completed more than 115 hours at the Anti-Defamation League, I feel far more comfortable, knowledgeable, and inspired than when I first began my internship. I’ve grown to really love working at the ADL and already feel nostalgic about having passed the mid-point mark. In this post, I’ll share some of the highlights, challenges, and events that have made this experience so transformative.
Last time I checked in, I had just started my internship. Since then, I have participated in civil rights committee meetings, helped draft an op-ed to a Florida newspaper, and assisted with projects relating to the transgender bathroom law. I attended ADL’s annual board meeting, where I learned about “No Place for Hate,” a program dedicated to combating bullying in schools. I’ve continued to speak with witnesses and victims of discrimination who wish to file reports with the ADL. I’ve conducted media searches, helped in the education and outreach department, and interviewed participants of ADL’s trip to Israel.
I have infinite respect and admiration for the ADL staff. They remain committed and steadfast in their fight for social justice, actively working to combat discrimination. Initially, I found it difficult to be immersed in the discrimination, anti-Semitism, and racism that still plagues our world; but as I spent more and more hours at the ADL, something else occurred to me: that meaningful efforts are being made to combat the hate, and that there is still so much love in the world.
The skills I’ve developed throughout this internship have already proven to be critically important in my academic, career, and life endeavors. By participating in civil rights committee meetings and engaging with highly intelligent people, I have grown more competent and capable. By speaking with victims and witnesses of discrimination, I have practiced compassion and empathy. By drafting letters and op-eds, I am enhancing my writing abilities. Most important, it has reaffirmed for me that I thrive on growth and contribution.
I’ve taken many courses at Brandeis that delve deeply into the inequities that exist in healthcare, government, and media. This internship has made everything I’ve learned at school come alive. The biggest difference between academic and work life is the incredible sense of contribution I feel each day at my internship. I love knowing that my work is helping to make the world a better place. Like anything else, the world of work and the world of academics are what we make of them: in both universes, we have the ability to extract every lesson or orbit passively, choosing not to see the opportunities right there in front of us.
I am eternally grateful to Brandeis University, to the generous donors, and to the Anti-Defamation League for this extraordinary opportunity.