Intern: June – August, 2015
Kati Scanlon began her studies at the University of South Florida in August of 2014. Her courses have centered on international relations and Japanese culture and language. She is currently a rising junior and is expected to graduate in May of 2017 with a Dual Degrees in International Studies and Professional Writing, Rhetoric & Technology.
Before I came to the International Institute of Global Resilience as an intern, I had little to no knowledge or experience of emergency management and disaster resilience. What I did have, however, was an eagerness to be utilized through an internship and to gain an opportunity to develop my skills within a professional atmosphere. My direct supervisor at IIGR was Leo Bosner, a former FEMA employee of 28+ years, and he, along with the rest of the IIGR team, encouraged my professional development by fostering an environment that allowed to constantly be exposed to new things. At IIGR I was presented with this an internship opportunity, but, in reality, it was so much more.
My main task while I was at IIGR was to write a research paper on Community Emergency Response Teams, or CERT for short. I had previous research and writing experience prior to the internship, but nothing quite as extensive, nor on a subject that I knew virtually nothing about. IIGR did not leave me to flounder on my own, however, for they encouraged me to gain more knowledge and experience with the CERT program. They facilitated my research by providing me with opportunities, such as attending CERTCON 2015 and the CERT member training for Washington DC, to meet experts in the field who were knowledgeable of the CERT program. Upon completion of this research paper, I gained a deliverable that can be reviewed by future employers or graduate schools.
My experience at IIGR was beyond what I expected from an internship experience. I was able to gain further exposure to the Japanese culture and language, a major interest of mine, as well as being introduced to a new field that I may now wish to pursue further in the future. The staff of IIGR works very hard towards their mission in promoting knowledge of emergency management both within the U.S. and abroad. I am truly thankful for the opportunity to contribute towards this amazing organization and the work that they do.