Sabrina Taylor '20
English major Sabrina Taylor describes her internship experience with Verité.
What is Verité?
Verité is a nonprofit organization that is centered around research and other initiatives that challenge labor violations in the workplace on a global scale. Their impactful efforts have made my time as an intern a really rewarding and valuable experience.
What were some of your internship responsibilities? Did this line up with what you thought you’d be doing?
I went into this internship thinking that I would be working as a research intern on different reports and projects focused on countries around the world affected by the migrant workforce. I also thought that I might occasionally create graphics or work on something more technical, as those are mostly my areas of concentration alongside English (information design, tech writing).
For the most part, this was the case and I got a chance to work on all of these tasks at some point during my time there. At the beginning of the internship was assigned two “projects” for the entire term, the first one was the CUMULUS project and the second was working with Verité’s Communications and Marketing Manager to design graphics for different Verité content ranging from brochures to reports to information on their website. For the most part, I was working on tasks for the CUMULUS team.
What did that entail?
This work included software translations, Adverse Media Scans (where I would look into certain agencies to find any history of labor malpractice that they’ve been involved with over the last five years), license checks (I would verify brokerage agencies’ up-to-date licenses for migrant labor recruitment), and other general research that was focused on improving the CUMULUS Forced Labor Screen—a startup online risk assessment platform that identifies forced labor and human trafficking risk in global supply chains.
What did you find most valuable about this experience?
Through working on such a wide range of tasks during my time at Verité, I’ve been able to sharpen skills that apply to my future career interests as well as any general work environment. Through the design work, I was able to hone my user experience skills and think about not only what kind graphics would appeal to a general audience but also what kind of images and designs were most appropriate for the kind of content we were working with. The research work really helped me to refine my analytical abilities: I had to quickly skim through large lists or pages of information to pinpoint keywords or topics. The technical work I was a part of through the CUMULUS online platform team also gave me experience with new technology and software knowledge that I didn’t have prior to this project.
More than anything, what made this internship at Verité really rewarding and enjoyable was the work environment and ethical nature of the job. I was worried that as an intern, the work I would be doing would be minimal compared to the organization’s overall impact, maybe being assigned general data entry or the like. However that was not the case, and the tasks I were being assigned were things that I was solely responsible for and that would help to push forward the progress of our teams’ research and initiatives. This kind of accountability made the work feel more effective and engaging, especially knowing that it was going toward a larger mission of holding large-scale corporations accountable in the ethical treatment of their workforce.
Did you learn anything about yourself during this internship?
What I learned from this internship is that there isn’t a need to settle on any field or company I first come across when going through the job process, and that if I want to pursue a job that works towards larger goals of social, cultural, or economic change then I should put my efforts in these particular sectors that make me feel good about my practices.
Any last thoughts about the internship?
My time at Verité has genuinely been one of the most valuable work experiences that I’ve had in my life so far! I’m really glad to have found such a convenient internship in the Amherst area that has really helped me get a better sense of the kind of work I want to be doing with my future career post-undergrad.