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SPAA Internship Spotlight: Rafeya Rahman – Rutgers University–Newark

Name: Rafeya Rahman
Degree Program: Bachelor of Arts
Major: Public and Nonprofit Administration
Graduation Date: May 2024
Name of Organization: Rutgers University–Newark, Division of Student Affairs, Health Promotion Division
Location: Newark, NJ
Title: Administrative Student Intern

Summary of Responsibilities:
I was responsible for collecting and analyzing data regarding student reach and impact from July 2022-June 2023 from all subdivisions within the department. Using this data, I assisted in completing the Assessment of Student Experience report, our impact in the Rutgers Diversity Plan Progress report, as well as the Division of Student Affairs Annual Report. I also assisted in grant administration by focusing on the logistics of several programs that the grant would fund starting in September. I served as a primary point of contact for the department to plan out various student outreaches during the summer and oversaw student recruitment for the summer as well as the upcoming fall semester.

Favorite Aspect of Internship:
My favorite part of the internship was interacting with students and seeing the positive impact of our efforts to improve wellbeing on campus, as well as utilizing their feedback to make our efforts more inclusive and accessible to all students. Learning about how to ensure that students are aware and receptive to the various resources for support on campus made each small success more fulfilling. 

Career Goals:
My career goals are to work in administration for a student focused educational organization, or to assist in developing policy to make quality education accessible to all.

How did the service-learning course help you navigate your internship responsibilities?
The service-learning course helped me to navigate my internship responsibilities by discussing various aspects of the internship as a whole and acknowledging my growth throughout the internship. The various resources provided allowed me to analyze exactly what skills and projects I should prioritize in order to further develop my skills in relation to my chosen career path.

What kind of skills did you learn during this internship?
During this internship, I learned a lot about the importance of adaptability and communication when it comes to any organization. No matter how well planned out a calendar or agenda might be, situations will arise that require sudden changes to be made. Adaptability is a necessary skill to have to be able to adjust to these changes and make effective decisions that allow the end goals to be met. Effective communication is also necessary to ensure everyone is aware of all decisions made and operations continue to run smoothly.

Has your mentoring part of the internship been helpful in navigating your career goals?
The mentorship I received from my director was immensely helpful in supporting me and understanding how what I enjoy doing most translates into knowing what kind of career path I want to pursue. The freedom to choose what projects I wanted to be in charge of with only the necessary minimal oversight ensured I was able to strengthen my leadership skills and challenge myself. Honest conversations with my mentor allowed me to understand how much I had grown throughout the internship and where I needed to develop myself further.