Fall 2020 Intern Spotlight: Mara Papakostas

I have had the pleasure of interning with the World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth in the Education Department this fall! I was an active member in the Ursuline Academy Junior World Affairs Council (JWAC) and loved attending all the events and workshops that the Council hosted. I even went to D.C. my junior and senior year to attend the World Affairs Council annual conference. Since then, I always wanted to work with the Council and be a part of their mission to educate and engage with international affairs in North Texas. Although the internship was virtual this semester, I worked closely with my team, got to know the staff and other interns, and met with CEO Jim Falk and other members of the Council’s board through Zoom meetings.

As an intern in the Education Department, I organized and updated membership information for JWAC groups across the Dallas/Fort Worth area. I also helped prepare for upcoming JWAC events by coordinating speakers and designing flyers and became well-versed in the database tool, Raiser’s Edge. Since I am interested in pursuing a career in nonprofit, I feel fortunate to have acquired this valuable skill.

One of my favorite parts of this internship was attending the events hosted by the Council, particularly the discussion with Mayor Pete Buttigieg, where he talked about the role of trust and its critical role in healing the U.S. and mending democracy. It was wonderful to hear about his career, international experience, and his ability to speak eight languages, as languages are of special interest to me. Prior to attending Davidson College, I took a gap year to study Arabic in Morocco on the State Department’s NSLI-y scholarship. I also studied in China on the Boren Scholarship my junior year. In addition to working at the Council, I have been interning virtually for the Middle East Institute in Washington D.C. In January, I will be going to Taiwan to teach English as a Fulbright Scholar.

I feel so lucky to have been a part of the Council this semester. I plan to pursue a Master’s degree in International/Public Affairs, so it’s been an incredible experience to learn about many opportunities in global affairs. I hope to continue attending events hosted by the Council and fostering the connections I’ve made.

To learn more about Council internships, please visit https://www.dfwworld.org/who-we-are/global-young-leaders/internships.

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