DePaul University Career Center's Blog

DePaul Diaries: Life as a RefugeeOne Intern

By: Renee Radzom, DePaul University graduate, former University Internship Program (UIP) assistant

DePaul Diaries is a day-in-the-life blog series written by DePaul students. The series unveils DePaulians’ experiences as interns in their field of choice. Students share their honest thoughts about their experiences, what they learned as an intern and advice for students who are interested in the same field.

Alysa Punjwani, international studies major, is spending her winter quarter tackling classes, an on-campus job, and her HR internship at RefugeeOne.

As an HR intern, Alysa said her main responsibilities are redesigning information pamphlets and updating employee handbooks; however, she said her projects change rapidly to fit the needs of the company and she often gets the chance to meet with clients and work with the care managers. Her favorite part of her internship is her “exposure to many different cultures and languages.”

The major skills Alysa is focusing on right now are her language skills and adaptability, as she is constantly on the move and because every day could bring in a new project or client. Alysa is embracing this as she works with a full office of many care managers and other staff members.

On top of her internship, Alysa is balancing her academics and her on-campus positon as a peer career advisor in the Career Center. One of the courses on her plate this quarter is UIP 250: You, Your Work, and the World, which is helping her figure out her transferrable skills and how to get the most of her internship experience. Alysa especially likes that the UIP 250 course is helping her figure out how to create an online portfolio and make an online presence for herself.

However, it’s not always easy to balance work, an internship, and a full course load. Alysa said it can be difficult at times, but, “a clear schedule and understanding supervisors made it easier.” She explained, “many times if there is an academic conflict, I can speak to my supervisors and they’re very understanding of the situation.” Alysa stressed that open communication is key to making it work.

Overall, Alysa is enjoying her quarter working at a large, non-profit and is especially thankful for the scholarship provided by the Internship Plu$ Program to help make it work for her. Her biggest piece of advice to future interns is: “Be flexible with the work you’re assigned and be confident in yourself and the skills and talents you bring to the table.”

Want to learn about DePaul’s University Internship Program? Check it out, here, or send inquiries to Need help finding an internship? Visit, or come into DePaul’s Career Center to meet with an advisor.

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