Devon Black“My perspective on development work has been better informed as a result of my time at Leadership Africa USA.”
I had the opportunity to intern with Leadership Africa USA in the fall of 2009. As an ‘outsider’ (I am from Canada), working at Leadership Africa USA was an incredible introduction to the culture of Washington. From my very first day, I was exposed to the practical side of international development work such as, understanding the importance of working closely with local partners in the countries in which Leadership Africa USA operates; and developing a program to enhance the lives of young people and being mindful of the various realities of working in conflict-affected or post-conflict societies.
The work that I did during this semester helped me gain an understanding of the breadth of an organization’s activities, from fundraising research to project implementation, and everything in between. The responsibilities I had an intern were incredible and very substantial. I was able to develop my professional skills by writing and editing proposals, developing web content, writing memos, and designing a social media strategy. I was also able to hone my networking skills by representing Leadership Africa USA at numerous events which more often than not, featured prominent individuals whether they were members of Congress, major philanthropists, or leaders of major NGO’s.
Working at Leadership Africa USA was amazing because of the work I was able to contribute, the knowledge that I gained, and the many incredible experiences I had. I’m sad to leave, but I look forward to applying my new skills to future endeavors. I know that when I return to the University of Ottawa to finish my undergraduate degree in International Development and Globalization, my perspective on development work will better informed as a result of my time at Leadership Africa USA.