Internships with Refugees in Albany
WhenTue Jan 14, 2014 - Fri May 16, 2014
Where991 Broadway, Suite 223Albany, NY 12204
JOIN OUR TEAM!
USCRI Albany seeks passionate, organized, dedicated volunteers to serve as interns in our office year-round. We are currently accepting applications for Spring 2013 (January-May); you need not be a student to apply. Diverse positions are available assisting with refugee services, immigration legal services, accounting, and development/management functions. Spring internships require a minimum commitment of 12-20 hours per week (depending on position) for 10-12 weeks. Preferred start dates are between January 7 and January 21, though later start dates can sometimes be accommodated.
Internships with USCRI Albany are rewarding and challenging. USCRI Albany interns work hard and contribute to our agency in significant ways, and build skills that they take with them to support success in a variety of career paths. Successful past interns have worked with USCRI during and immediately after undergraduate and graduate study; and also have come to us later in life independent of any academic program. USCRI Albany interns have gone on to graduate and post-graduate programs; service in the Peace Corps, AmeriCorps, and similar programs; and professional work in the nonprofit, government, and business sectors.
Interns have access to a range of benefits during their time at USCRI Albany, including on-the-job learning opportunities and professional development resources. USCRI Albany interns can expect to do the following:
- Develop a rich understanding of refugees and refugee resettlement.
- Experience immersion in the daily operations in the field office of a national nonprofit organization with a century of experience serving immigrants and refugees across the United States and internationally.
- Work with staff, clients, and intern peers from around the world.
- Participate in on-site and online trainings related to both the field of refugee resettlement and skills relevant to any nonprofit setting.
- Have access to advice from USCRI staff on job search in the refugee resettlement field; staff can review and provide feedback on interns' resumes and cover letters.
ABOUT OUR INTERNSHIPS
- All internships are unpaid. Interns are responsible for all costs of living. USCRI can provide documentation to interns who wish to earn academic credit for their work with our agency.
- Interns must commit to a minimum of 10-12 weeks, 12-20 hours a week during the academic year, 25-40 hours a week in the summer. Preference is given to applicants who can make a commitment beyond the minimum.
- Interns must complete hours within the business week, Mon-Fri 8:30-5:00.
Each internship at USCRI Albany is a unique experience and has a particular balance of tasks. At the same time, there are common experiences that interns can expect.
Direct Client Interaction. Refugee clients are in our office every day, and all interns will have the opportunity to practice cross-cultural communication skills through client interaction. Most interns will have a weekly shift at our Front Desk, welcoming and assisting clients.
It is wonderful that many of our internship applicants want experience working with refugee populations. Please note that internships with USCRI Albany are not an opportunity to get to know refugees on a personal level. Interns assist with the delivery of services to refugees as clients of USCRI, maintaining professional boundaries at all times.
Administrative Work. All interns and all staff collaborate in the necessary tasks of documenting the services we provide to clients. No internship is solely administrative, but all interns contribute to tasks including filing, copying, faxing, and data entry. USCRI Albany seeks interns who understand the importance of accurate records and are willing to give their full attention to necessary administrative tasks.
Housing Support. A major task of refugee resettlement organizations is preparing apartments for new arrivals, including moving in furniture, kitchen and bathroom items, and an initial supply of food staples. Some internships focus more on housing support; during busy weeks, all interns with the physical ability to do so are asked to assist with housing preparation.
Representing USCRI to the broader community. All interns will interact with the broader community, including volunteers, landlords, employers, and partner agencies. Interns are expected to clearly communicate the mission and services of USCRI Albany and to address community members' questions with patience and respect.
Managing time and meeting deadlines. All interns are expected to come prepared to keep track of and meet multiple deadlines, from urgent tasks to multi-week projects.
For Spring 2014, Internship Positions are available in the following areas:
USCRI Albany assists recently-arrived refugees with housing; cultural adjustment; accessing healthcare, education, and social services; employment preparation and placement; and building self-sufficiency. Interns work closely with staff, gaining experience with service coordination, case file management, and cross-cultural interactions. Approximately 5-6 internship positions are available in the area of Refugees Services.
Immigration Legal Services
USCRI Albany's Immigration Legal Services team includes a Staff Attorney and a Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) Accredited Representative who provide legal advice and representation to refugees and immigrants who wish to obtain green cards, to apply to bring family members to the U.S., or to become U.S. Citizens. The program also serves survivors of human trafficking. One position is available for law students or recent law school graduates only, a second position is open to all applicants with a genuine interest in immigration and the legal field.
Assist staff with accounting tasks related to refugee services, focus on tracking expenditures in digital and hard copy file systems. One position available, must have impeccable attention to detail.
Development & Management
Work with Field Office Director and other staff on projects related to office administration, volunteer management, social media and outreach.
- Acquiring or having already acquired a Bachelor's Degree, or equivalent non-academic experience.
- Must speak, read, and write English fluently and at a university level.
- Must demonstrate professional communication skills on telephone, in person, and in email correspondence.
- Must be proficient in basic Windows applications including Microsoft Word and Excel, and have experience with internet research.
- Must have excellent organizational, time-management, follow-up, and administrative skills with a strong attention to detail.
- Must be capable of working in a fast-paced, multicultural office environment, take initiative, and be able to handle multiple assignments at once and meet deadlines.
- Commitment to the human rights and general welfare of refugees and immigrants.
- Previous internship experience in a nonprofit organization.
- Experience working or volunteering with resettled refugees or similar populations.
- Candidates who are proficient in one or more languages in addition to English are highly desired. Preference will be given to speakers of: Arabic, Burmese (and other languages from Burma), Nepali, Farsi/Dari, Pashto, French, and Russian. Most interns do not speak the languages of our clients.
- Experience with basic graphic design, Google Docs, wiki websites, and/or databases.
- Knowledge of issues related to immigrants and refugees, international relations, and/or human rights.
- Must be enrolled in law school to apply for Immigration Services Legal Intern position.
The U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants has been helping people flee war and persecution since 1911. USCRI addresses the needs and rights of persons in forced or voluntary migration worldwide by advancing fair and humane public policy, facilitating and providing direct professional services, and promoting the full participation of migrants in community life. Through its network of resettlement field offices and partner organizations, USCRI provides refugees and immigrants across the United States with the support, services and opportunities they need to rebuild their lives and enrich their communities. From the first bewildering days after arrival, to the excitement of starting a new job, to becoming a U.S. citizen, USCRI Albany works alongside our clients to make sure that they keep taking the next step towards their successful integration and active participation in the United States.
The USCRI field office in Albany opened in 2005 and now resettles hundreds of refugee families every year in the Capital Region of New York State. The largest populations served by the Albany field office are from Burma, Iraq, and Bhutan, with additional populations from the Congo, Sudan, Eritrea, Afghanistan, and Central Asia. USCRI Albany focuses on meeting the immediate basic needs of new arrivals, assisting refugees in obtaining early employment and achieving self-sufficiency, and nurturing community integration for new Americans.
HOW TO APPLY
USCRI Albany asks applicants to complete three steps in submitting an internship application.
1) Applicants are expected to have read this posting thoroughly before applying, as many common questions are answered above.
2) Please submit a cover letter and resume to firstname.lastname@example.org in either PDF or Microsoft Word format. Your cover letter should briefly summarize your interest in working with USCRI Albany and highlight relevant experiences and skills. Please include in your cover letter the position(s) or program area(s) in which you are interested. There is no need to submit multiple applications if you are interested in being considered for multiple positions.
3) Please complete our Intern Applicant Questionnaire at https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1Fs-6BivTdnx-USbHsTsvMCqXHDwIByATT4EIwT3PSlw/viewform
The most competitive applicants will be invited to participate in an interview. In-person interviews are preferred, but telephone interviews can be arranged for those not currently living in the Albany area.
Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis, early submission is encouraged. Applications will be accepted until all positions are filled.
Good Match For
Requirements & Commitment
- Must be at least 18
- Orientation or Training
- Minimum of 12-15 hours per week for 10-12 weeks