By: Kaizad Irani ’22
This summer, I am currently working as a remote intern with the Alliance for Peacebuilding (AfP). They are a nonpartisan network of 120+ international organizations working to end violence and promote peace around the world. AfP advocates for conflict prevention in legislation, utilizes data to advance research in the peacebuilding field, and mobilizes the public by hosting events such as PeaceCon, the largest annual peacebuilding conference in the U.S. As an intern, I am researching AfP’s network of members and creating a data visualization that shows their global impact.
During my time at Davidson, I became interested in leveraging the power of data and technology in fields like international studies and political science. The courses at Davidson helped improve my quantitative and qualitative abilities in better understanding and questioning the world around me. Some of my favorite courses included CSC 110 “Data Science and Society,” where I learned R and created a research poster exploring democracy and governance in the Middle East. In that course, I applied both data science and political science skills towards finding governance and public opinion trends in the Arab World and presented my findings to my peers and professors at Davidson’s Verna Miller Case Symposium. In addition, as part of TheGovLab@Davidson, I conducted data-focused research exploring the effectiveness of the United Nations and other international, intergovernmental organizations. My internship with AfP closely aligns with my academic interests and provides me the opportunity to apply my understanding of data analytics and global studies in a professional setting.
This opportunity was made possible by the Center for Career Development (CCD) and the Dean Rusk International Studies Programs. Coming into Davidson, I (like most students) was unsure of what I wanted to study and my career path. That spring, I went on the CCD’s DC Career Trek, a spring break trip to the nation’s capital where we visited various think-tanks, government agencies, and political organizations. From that trip, I learned about networking and connected with Davidson alumni working in fields such as political economics, governmental affairs, political lobbying, and international relations. I also got involved with the Dean Rusk Program during my first year at Davidson, through which I have had the chance to attend numerous teatime discussions, cultural events, and academic lectures related to a variety of international issues and topics. I am grateful for Ms. Jane Zimmerman, the Director of the Dean Rusk Program, and for the vast number of connections available through Davidson College which helped me obtain my internship.
Finally, I am thankful for receiving the Locke White Jr. grant through the CCD. My summer experience would not be possible without their generous funding and I am fortunate enough to have this internship where I am working towards creating a tangible and meaningful product that will impact the future of effective peacebuilding.