Nadine Iskandar ’17: Interning at the United Nations

iskandar - Nadine Iskandar '17: Interning at the United NationsNadine Iskandar ’17 has taken her passion for politics and social change overseas this summer, as an intern at the United Nations office in Geneva, Switzerland. Her internship supports Ambassador Dr. Sameh Aboul Enein, the League of Arab States’ Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the U.N.

As an intern, Iskandar attends conferences on disarmament, conducts research on Middle East security issues, drafts presentations, and writes reports for the Ambassador. She finds the work satisfying because, she said, “I know that the research I do will be used towards something great.”

An Egyptian-American dual citizen born in Cairo, Iskandar has been interested in foreign affairs since before she arrived at Loyola Marymount University. She pursued her interests as a double major in political science and women’s and gender studies.

She had her first taste of global policy-making last year, when she traveled with a group of students to the United Nations in New York to lobby in support of the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons. There, she networked with ambassadors and took some business cards. She reached out to her new contacts when looking for summer opportunities, circulated her resume, and eventually landed her internship.

The experience has already made an impact, professionally and personally. “[At the U.N.,] you pass by interns, diplomats, world leaders, ambassadors, people of different cultures, ethnic backgrounds, economic standings, and you get the sense that somehow you are all connected,” she said. Each one of these people has a purpose in being there and the ability to positively affect others’ lives.”

After she graduates, Iskandar plans to apply for a Fulbright grant to Belgium to earn a master’s degree in European Studies.

Nadine Iskandar is one of 14 recipients of a 2016 BCLA Career Pathways Internship grant. The newly expanded, donor-funded program offered $20,000 to 14 liberal arts students in unpaid internships this summer. The grants ensure broad access to career exploration opportunities by freeing students with financial need to pursue high-quality, unpaid internships that they could otherwise not afford to accept.