Industry: International
Type of Internship: Communications: Social Media, Communications: Writing/Editing, Research: Social Sciences
Student Name: Alina Strileckis
Graduation Year: 2020
Major: Peace and Justice Studies
Minor: Entrepreneurial Leadership; Political Science
Position Title: Post-Conflict Research and Communications Intern
Hours: 40 hours per week
Paid or Unpaid: Unpaid but receiving Career Center grant, full-time

What do you do as an intern at this organization?

I am working both in the office and in the field on transitional justice in the Balkans. I am responsible for developing and expanding the organization's social media outreach and marketing, along with spearheading and supervising research on genocide denial through a comparative analysis of post-conflict BiH and post-WWII Germany. I am also conducting further research and interviews with BiH youth on past conflicts and current social issues in the Western Balkans. I write articles for the organization’s blog, craft meeting summaries, attend international conferences, and participate in project development.

How did you find this internship?

I visited Bosnia and Herzegovina in the fall semester when abroad with DIS Copenhagen, and I had the chance to meet PCRC’s founder, Velma Saric, and learn about the work PCRC does in BiH and the Balkans, as well as its work with the international community.

What do you enjoy most about your internship?

I enjoy the chance to speak to the young generation of Bosnians across the country who have varying views on the post-conflict country and on the current political and social situation of their country. It’s interesting to both contrast and compare how teenagers from the three primary ethnicities view their country, and how those views are strongly ignored by the politicians in charge. Getting the opportunity to meet with people on the ground in a post-conflict state is one I never would have gotten if I had held an internship in the United States for the summer.

What do you find challenging?

I find it hard to be an outsider in a relatively closed-off country, particularly when entering smaller towns or discussing the country’s social situation. I’ve tried to learn to be critical of my own perspective and despite learning about the conflict, understanding that I did not live through or continue to live through the struggles that Bosnians currently face.

What advice would you offer to someone who wants to make the most of an internship like yours?

In nonprofits like this one, deadlines aren’t as tight as they are in the corporate or public sector, so you sometimes have to create your own deadlines to stay on task. In this sector, this is an important skill to learn. For my particular internship, there was a lot of freedom to research what I wanted to research, which allowed me to become very passionate about what I was writing about. I would advise everyone doing a similar internship to meet people who carry all different kinds of beliefs, because it opens you up to different perspectives. These differing perspectives, whether or not you agree, allow you to more clearly see post-conflict states and what can (and can't) be done to solve ongoing issues.

About the Organization

Post-Conflict Research Center
Sarajevo, Bosnia & Herzegovina

Post-Conflict Research Center (PCRC) is dedicated to restoring a culture of peace and preventing violent conflict in the Western Balkans by creating, implementing and supporting evidence-based, multidisciplinary and innovative approaches to peace education, creative multimedia, conflict prevention, post-conflict research, human rights and transitional justice. We strive for a society where people no longer perceive diversity as a source of conflict, but as the basis for prosperity. We are committed to establishing an environment where human rights are respected and the principles of transparency, accountability and the rule of law are upheld to support a healthy democracy. PCRC’s overall strategy encompasses six core areas of operation: Creative Multimedia; Preventing Genocide, Mass Atrocities & Violent Extremism; Post-Conflict Research; Peace Education; Transitional Justice; and Consultancy.