Keeping Busy This Summer

Virtual summer internships from supporting education in rural Nepal to nature conservation work.

A time difference of three hours and fifteen minutes between Japan and Nepal did not deter Koki Ajiri from taking on his summer internship. Based back home in Japan this summer, Ajiri joked that it just takes a little more effort to calculate and schedule meetings happening in Nepal.

Koki Ajiri, Class of 2022.

The NYU Abu Dhabi Class of 2022 student had taken an internship at Karkhana, an organization that provides curriculums for schools in Nepal to teach science and technology subjects while being home in Japan. 

Ajiri helped research and design assessment frameworks for curriculums by reviewing literature and presenting weekly research findings. He also hosted workshops and tested out the curriculum alongside Nepali teachers. 

Managing between Google documents and virtual meetings, Ajiri commented that remote working had been rather straightforward and he had practice living in one timezone but being beholden to others working in another timezone. “In fact, my spring semester courses in Accra, Ghana were far more punishing in terms of time zones,” he added. 

In a workshop while introducing a technique to code student journal reflections, Ajiri noticed the awkward silence from the Nepali teachers. It was only when he began working through a sample that he started hearing “Oh!” and “Wow!” in the background. It was a rewarding moment for Ajiri. “I was overwhelmed with sheer joy when at the end of the session, most of the teachers shared that they were intrigued by this new assessment technique and were excited to use it as part of their teaching toolkit.”  

Spending the summer in Japan gave the Social Research and Public Policy major time to catch up on overdue readings, and to begin proactively seeking out research opportunities in the new semester to sharpen his focus on public health and African political economy.

Natasha Treunen, Class of 2020.

There is always a first for everything. And for Natasha Treunen from the Class of 2020, this summer was the first time she held a virtual internship position from her room on campus in Abu Dhabi.  

Treunen interned at Emirates Nature in association with World Wide Fund for Nature, a non-profit organization that looks at conserving nature and reducing threats to the environment. 

As a conservation education and outreach intern, Treunen helped support the planning of outreach activities and come up with plans for their Connect with Nature program. The Ugandan helped identify project risks and improve certain workflows.  

Being able to attend many of the organized virtual events was not just a good way to network, Treunen was also able to proactively take in feedback from attendees and incorporate them into ideas she was executing for future programming. 

While it’s not quite like heading into an office, Treunen enjoyed having a more flexible schedule without having to worry about commuting daily between Abu Dhabi where she was living, and Dubai, where the non-profit organization was situated.