Internship Profile: Amirah Darnaby Navigates to NASA

 

Name: Amirah Darnaby

Hometown: Upper Marlboro, Maryland

Year: Class of 2022

Major: Human relations with minors in French, sociology and anthropology

Internship: Darnaby joins the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in Washington D.C. as an office of diversity and equal opportunity intern. As an intern for the Office of Diversity and Equal Opportunity at NASA, she will be planning a Disability Conference this fall that features a program of educational opportunities including a number of best practices for employees with disabilities, as well as for their supervisors and hiring managers, and equal employment opportunity managers. Darnaby will also create virtual trainings on disability etiquette and best practices in disability employment. 

How HPU helped you get there: “HPU has helped me develop life skills that will be instrumental in my future. I have had numerous opportunities to serve in leadership roles that have nurtured my passion for diversity, equity, and inclusion. The Leadership Fellows Program has allowed me to connect with like-minded students and participate in professional development opportunities. As a member of the Voice Advisory Board, I have had the opportunity to lead discussions on cultural differences and examine ways to engage the HPU community in creating an inclusive environment and embracing one another’s differences. I have also had the honor of serving as a mentor to a local student in the High Point community through the Big Brothers Big Sisters Program. HPU has overall inspired me to pursue my passions and challenged me to reach new heights. During the process of applying for internships, Dr. Gentry in the Office of Career and Professional Development along with Professor Julie Hill in the Human Relations Internship Program served a monumental role in preparing me for networking opportunities. The PathwayU test helped me identify and understand my unique interests, values, personality traits, and workplace preferences. This information taught me how to brand myself to employers, how to articulate what sets me apart from others, and how to find an organization that is the best fit for me. Through informational interviews, I was able to grow my network with professionals in my field of interest which has lead to gain a number of internship offerings.”

Most Impactful Mentor: “Terry Chavis in the Office of Multicultural Affairs has been incredibly supportive in my extra-curricular and professional development endeavors. Terry has helped me become a better leader by giving me the opportunity to facilitate multicultural trainings and discussion as well as provide my input on programming at HPU. Our shared passion for diversity, equity, and inclusion has allowed us to grow a strong bond and I am grateful for the mentorship that he has provided to me over the past year.”

What has your internship experience been like, and how is it preparing you for your future?: “I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to intern at NASA and experience working at an organization that is listed as The Best Place to work in government. NASA prioritizes mentorship and professional development, which has allowed me to network with and learn from different professionals. Additionally, I am gaining invaluable exposure to the fields of diversity, equity, and inclusion, bringing me closer to my career aspirations. This experience has empowered me to take initiative and self-manage projects while working remotely.”

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