Kiki is from Logansport, Indiana, and came to IU to study Political Science. Here, Kiki has fostered her passion for wanting to help the immigrant community and to create public policy that concerns immigration. After graduation, Kiki plans on attending law school where she will specialize in immigration law. Kiki writes that her passion for this subject comes from her experience of being a first generation United States citizen, through which she has been exposed to the legal process of immigration first-hand. Last Spring, she got the opportunity to work as an Integration Programs Intern for the National Immigration Forum (NIF). Here, Kiki collaborated with various teams (policy, communication, integration, etc.) as well as with various corporations (Walmart, Target, Disney, WholeFoods, Lyft, etc.) in order to provide civilian workshops and English learning programs.
How did this experience impact you personally and professionally?
“This experience impacted me tremendously. I was exposed to the true bureaucratic system of policy advocacy and policy making. I also worked with big corporations and learned about the internal workings of those corporations. I am even more inspired to advocate for immigration”
What were some of the most rewarding parts of this experience?
“The most rewarding part of this experience was seeing the student’s progress in their English learning courses. Furthermore, our policy team influenced immigration policy and it was extremely rewarding to see this happen in our office”
What did you learn about the industry?
“I learned about immigration advocacy. In the past I only had experience with immigration law and now I know how to use that knowledge to advocate for immigration reform”
What do you wish you would have known before you started this position? Or what would you tell others before they start an internship?
“I wish I would have known that I needed business cards! If a student pursues an internship in D.C., I highly recommend getting general business cards”
What did receiving this Internship Scholarship mean to you?
“Receiving this scholarship meant allowing me to pursue my internship in Washington, D.C. Without this scholarship I would have had an extreme financial burden. I would have had to get a part time job in D.C. along with my full time internship. This scholarship allowed me to focus on my internship and truly engage in life in Washington, D.C. This scholarship allowed me to learn much more about immigration advocacy because I had the time to meet with many immigration policy makers and attorneys. This knowledge will help me succeed in law school, and this would not have been possible without this scholarship. Furthermore, this scholarship allowed for me to afford my expenses in Washington, D.C. and not have as many financial stressors”