Environmental studies and economics double-major Annika Fuller ’21 is spending her
summer as a Freeman Asia intern at EarthRights International in Thailand, teaching
English and learning more about non-governmental organization (NGO) work.
What are your everyday responsibilities as an intern?
As an intern, I have been working with Angela Roman ’20. We have been teaching English
class in the morning and then taking notes on their content classes where they learn
about what it means to be an Earth Rights Defender. Angela and I then prepare our
next day lesson on what we believe will be best for the students. During the evening
we open ourselves up for any questions the students may have over their homework,
English, or life in America.
How did you land this internship?
I "landed" this internship by applying for the Freeman Asia program. I also had a
wonderful recommendation from my advisor, Abigail Jahiel.
What drew you to this internship?
I was drawn to this internship because I am very interested in NGO work, specifically
when it has to do with the environment. Also, the idea that it is a school full of
people who want to be there so they can go back to their communities and help with
things that are intensely impacting their lives is incredible.
How did IWU prepare you for succeeding as an intern?
IWU has prepared me to be a successful intern because of the information they have
provided me in my classes. Also, by promoting curiosity and openness I am able to
learn and improve as I work.
What do you hope to gain from this internship experience as you look forward to being
I hope to gain a better understanding of the environmental problems that we are facing
and those fighting those problems. I also hope to gain patience, flexibility, and
empathy. Finally, I hope to discover if I want to work with an NGO in my future endeavors.
What's been a particularly rewarding experience as an intern?
Learning from the students has been the most rewarding part of this internship. They
are extremely knowledgeable and motivated. It inspires me to help and learn from those
who have different experiences than myself. The students are also exceptionally kind
and welcoming. I will miss them when I leave.
In your opinion, why is it important for students to experience internships?
Personally, I think students should experience internships to understand what they
value in a career. Also, if a student is able to attend an internship that takes them
out of their comfort zone, whether it be doing something new or being in a new place,
then I think there are very few better ways to grow as a person and as a future employee.