2017 Summer Intern

The Schull Yang International Experience Award, supported by Joseph Schull (BA ‘82, MA ’85) and Anna Yang (BCL, LLB ’88), helps undergraduate and graduate students gain first hand international experience related to their fields of study. The award provides full or partial funding to assist students with tuition, travel, and other expenses related to their international experience. The Schull Yang International Experience Award is part of the McGill International Experience Awards. For more information, click here.

The Internship Offices Network is pleased to announce the selected McGill student for the 2017 summer internship at CAMFED, and recipient of the Schull Yang International Experience Award.

Elizabeth Gallay, BA Honours Political Science

Elizabeth will be doing research with CAMFED USA's office in San Francisco, California. There she will help promote the education and empowerment of young African women, with the goal of alleviating poverty and inequality through female leadership. Elizabeth is pursuing an honours degree in political science and minors in international relations and art history. She intends to gain exposure to issues on the ground before she pursues a master's in political theory following graduation.

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My name is Elizabeth Gallay and I am a U3 student at McGill, majoring in honours political science and minoring in international relations and art history. With the generosity of Mr. Joseph Schull and Ms. Anna Yang, I was able to complete a summer internship with Camfed USA in San Francisco. Working with Camfed was an incredible experience, as I obtained crucial exposure to the non-profit sector and solidified my post-graduation plans.
Camfed stands for Campaign for Female Education; as an organization, Camfed focuses on educating African women through secondary education via a sustainable, scalable approach that relies on having local communities make decisions on how to spend the money they receive, creates an alumni association wherein the women who graduate remain as mentors (or ‘Learner Guides’) to help younger girls complete their education, and helps graduates receive microloans to start small businesses through Kiva (an online microloan lending platform).

From the beginning, I really respected Camfed’s nuanced and respectful approach to helping communities in need. Further, while Camfed has seven offices, I worked in the U.S. office which currently has a staff of eight people. Due to the size of the office, I really got to see the ins and outs of how the organization was run, was given a substantial workload, and was treated as a key team member.

As an intern, I hoped to receive firsthand knowledge of what it would be like working in the non-profit sector; I received that and more. During my time at Camfed, I created a Canadian International Assistance Brief that reflected my research on Canada’s international assistance budget, projects, and priorities (to provide background to staff that is coming to open a Camfed Canada office), I updated monthly reports that tracked Camfed’s alumni association’s Kiva loans and helped prepare for presentations on Camfed’s Kiva partnership, helped edit and format a number of Camfed reports and publications, and updated research and profiles on possible and current Camfed donors.

Altogether, I got to be exposed to a number of different projects that Camfed is involved in and obtain a full picture of how Camfed successfully raises money and impacts change. I was also given a lot of responsibility and trust; it was up to me to complete my tasks in a timely and professional manner. The highlight of my work was creating the Canadian International Assistance Brief and knowing it would be used by the new Camfed Canada director.

It was exciting and difficult to be working in a small team and treated as an adult capable of professional work to be used and relied upon by my organization. However, everyone at Camfed was incredibly helpful; my colleagues were always available to answer questions and provide assistance. While I felt trusted with large and important tasks, I also felt supported during the process of completing them. Working at Camfed showed me the sort of working environment I hope to engage in again as a future professional.

As a university student in my final year, working at Camfed was also incredibly useful in terms of deciding upon my future career path. I have long been interested in international relations and the ways in which people from all over our global community can assist one another in respectful and crucial ways. During my time at McGill, I have gotten to take many political theory courses and become involved in the Research Group on Constitutional Studies; I hope to pursue a master’s in political theory following graduation. Working with Camfed solidified my desire to apply my interest in political theory through working with organizations with thoughtful and ever-changing solutions to on-the-ground issues.

My time with Camfed was an incredibly valuable experience; it solidified my post-graduation goals, helped me build confidence in my skills, and granted me exposure to non-profit work. I am so grateful to Mr. Joseph Schull and Ms. Anna Yang for giving me the opportunity to complete this internship. With the Schull Yang International Experience Award I was able to afford housing for the summer in San Francisco, and able to stay with Camfed for two amazing months. Participating in unpaid internships is so crucial to the undergraduate experience, but difficult for many to complete; Ms. Anna Yang and Mr. Joseph Schull’s generosity is an amazing gift to McGill students. I know that I will be forever grateful to them for my summer with Camfed.

Two Camfed employees by their desks in the Camfed USA offices; African flags from countries Camfed works in appear on the walls.