The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Internship Spotlight: Alphoncina Lyamuya, Center for Strategic and International Studies

Headshot of Alphoncina Lyamuya

Hometown: Gardner, Massachusetts

Degree and graduation year: Legal Studies with a minor in Political Science, 2020; 4+1 Master of Public Policy, 2021.

Where I interned: The Center for Strategic and International Studies’ Journalism Bootcamp

What I did there: Data visualization for the Venezuelan migration crisis

The most important thing I learned: I learned how to work under the high-pressure situation, time management, multitasking, and how to teamwork in the workplace.

The most challenging part of my internship: Collecting accurate data relevant to the current Venezuelans’ cost of living, inflation rate, and the corresponding numbers of Venezuelans leaving their country due to the ongoing economic and political crisis.

What surprised me the most: The international community response to this crisis, particularly the neighboring countries who have closed their borders or make it hard for Venezuelans to seek refuge.

Why I’m studying public policy: I’m studying public policy to gain a further understanding and focus on immigration policy, as well as practical experience on the interplay of this particular policy area to other important policy areas such as the economy, criminal justice, and education.

Future plans: I plan to work with a nonprofit (policy research organizations), public, or private organization focusing on international affairs and public policy.  

Read "Refugees in All but Name: Venezuelans Struggle for Status," an article coauthored by Allie during her internship.

Photo by Mikayla Coffeen-Vandeven

About the School of Public Policy: Established in 2016, the UMass Amherst School of Public Policy prepares students for leadership in public service. The program’s focuses include social change and public policy related to science and technology.


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