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  • Sarah Malak

Meet IBI’s 2023 Summer Interns Part 1

IBI offers a competitive internship every summer for current and recent graduates. The program is an opportunity for interns to explore their interest in international development by being placed in different departments.


University Trip to Nepal Sparks Interest in International Development


Sophia Nguyen, a recent graduate of George Mason University and student body President of the 2022-2023 class, is this summer’s Project Management intern at IBI. Her studies in Government and Politics led her to Nepal this past Spring where her eyes were opened to the world of international development. Nguyen and her class visited numerous development stakeholders, including the World Health Organization, the U.S. Embassy in Kathmandu, and the office of the United States Agency for International Development. “We conversed with health and humanitarian aid professionals to discuss issues they were facing such as the lack of medical equipment, hygiene products, and overall funding from the government,” says Nguyen. Food and water insecurity were some of the other topics they discussed. However, Nguyen’s trip was not the first time she heard about international development. Though she grew up in Chesapeake, Virginia, Nguyen’s parents immigrated to the United States from Vietnam and had personally experienced the benefits of international development.


This trip and her family’s background motivated Nguyen to apply for her current role at IBI, which she found through LinkedIn. “I liked the job description as to what the job would entail,” says Nguyen. Though economic growth was not her primary area of study, her motivation to broaden her horizons and explore international development led her to apply at IBI. “I have thoroughly enjoyed my internship experience so far. The tasks I have been given have contributed to my team in meaningful ways,” says Nguyen. Some of the tasks she has performed for the project management team have included editing and reviewing quarterly reports, and ensuring correct formatting of documents, through which she has learnt more about the projects that IBI performs around the globe.


After this summer, Nguyen will be returning to George Mason University where she will begin her masters in Global Affairs with a concentration in Global Conflict and Security. After her degree, Nguyen hopes to give back to various communities especially those who experience poverty and a decline in political stability.


International Upbringing Shapes Career Interests

Adnan Basheer is this summer’s Business Development intern. Originally from India, born in Singapore,

and raised in Dubai – he graduated from the University College of London with a degree in Political Science and is currently doing his masters at Georgetown University in Democracy and Governance. What drew Basheer to international development was his international upbringing. Having personally experienced and seen the need for foreign assistance in certain parts of the world, Basheer understands the value and impact that international development has on other countries. “I strongly believe that the development space empowers marginalized communities both economically and politically, and it’s incredibly gratifying being a part of that work,” says Basheer.


Basheer heard about the IBI internship through his university career newsletter and has been enjoying his experience here ever since he joined. So far, his tasks have included updating trackers for the project proposals that IBI submits, working on spreadsheets, organizing meetings, and sending e-mails to key personnel for upcoming proposals. After graduating from Georgetown University next year, Basheer hopes to work in financial anti-corruption within the international development realm.


IBI attracts a diverse group of interns for their home office in Arlington, Virginia every summer. In addition to home-based internships, IBI also does internships in their field offices. Check out this blog post on the internship experience in Liberia!

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