Internship impact: Aria Wilson

Aria Wilson was one of the winter quarter students in BIS 495, the internship course taught by Loren Redwood in the School of Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences. They “combined passion with academic pursuit,” Redwood says. By the end of the quarter, four of her 12 students had jobs.

During the period she was interning at the Seattle office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, donations to CAIR went up 103 percent, says Aria Wilson (global studies, June ’17).

Wilson can’t claim all the credit as an executive assistant intern, since the December-through-February stint followed the presidential election. She was helping to answer phones when more calls came in from Muslims who felt they were being targeted. Likewise, more calls came in from supporters who wanted to donate to the national organization that promotes a positive image of Islam and Muslims in America.

“I didn’t understand what Islam is until I worked for CAIR. Now I’m able to understand the depth of what CAIR does,” says Wilson who is not a Muslim herself.

Wilson kept busy transferring calls, updating the donor database and online postings, as well as helping with event planning and recruiting more volunteers.

“I really enjoyed it and learned about a different culture,” says Wilson who minored in human rights. She plans to work as an administrative assistant or recruiter with the long-term goal of managing a nonprofit.

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