HIGH POINT, N.C., Sept. 5, 2016 – High Point University Senior Amanda Coppa spent her summer as a research analyst intern with Nonviolence International, a human rights organization with a network of resource centers that research and promote nonviolent action worldwide.
The political science and international relations double major from North Andover, Massachusetts, worked in Nonviolence International’s New York City location, which serves as the organization’s United Nations Relations office.
In her role, Coppa spent much of her time writing for research articles and blog posts and also took minutes during UN meetings.
“Nonviolence International is part of civil society, so we lobbied delegates on why civil society should play a larger role in UN actions,” says Coppa. “When I was not at the UN, I was part of my company’s disarmament team. I researched international and national instruments with relation to disarmament, compared them and researched ways to improve them.”
Coppa’s internship not only prepared her for a future career, but also opened her eyes to many new cultures, international issues and how debates are handled within the UN. The UN has 193 member states and Coppa was able to attend meetings where representatives from each member state were present.
“My favorite part of the internship was being surrounded by so many different cultures,” says Coppa. “It was amazing to sit on the floor of the meetings and take in first-hand how the countries all interact with each other in meetings.”
Coppa admits that the most interesting part of her experience was watching how countries handle their disagreements.
“To be honest, the most exciting part was when countries would start bickering with each other,” Coppa says. “It obviously isn’t good when countries butt heads, but it was amazing to see how the UN goes about dealing with disagreements.”
Coppa says that HPU helped prepare her for the internship by teaching her how to network and sell herself to others.
“During my internship, I had the chance to meet people from all over the world, allowing me to network with countless people from various countries,” says Coppa. “While I was at the UN for meetings, I worked through my lunch hour to meet with officials over lunch. HPU taught me the etiquette I needed to know at a table during a business meeting which really helped.”
Now, back on campus, she says that her time with Nonviolence International helped prepare her for her final year at HPU.
“I learned a lot about networking, time management and how to better improve my writing,” says Coppa. “Along with this internship, I also had another part-time internship and a part-time job, so I learned a lot on how to manage my time properly, which will be very helpful this upcoming year with my involvement on campus.”