Marie Hoffmann, a graduate student of Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Kent, with a bachelor’s in International Business Administration, was undertaking an insightful and valuable internship at the Conflict Analysis Research Centre (CARC) at the University of Kent from October 2017 to April 2018. In this piece, Marie reflects upon her experience, discussing her role at CARC and how this has influenced her future career decisions.
From October 2017 to April 2018 I was interning at the CARC at the University of Kent. Throughout the internship I enjoyed supporting the running of the centre’s events and research seminars, managing the social media accounts and developing the research centre’s blog.
One of the events that I helped organise, was a workshop on ‘Population Movements in and from the Eastern Mediterranean’ on November the 6th. For this workshop, I helped coordinate with the attendees and students, assist with marketing the event and write an article about the event.
On December the 1st2017, CARC, in collaboration with the Oxford Research Group’s Strategic Peacebuilding Programme, organized a roundtable discussion in order to explore how to forge an effective process of political dialogue in Yemen that provides a genuine platform for various identity or interest groups within Yemeni society, and delineates a clear role for third parties in light of the impact of external factors. My responsibility was to help with the organisation of the event, communicate with the experts, practitioners and students that attended, and take comprehensive notes during the roundtable for a write-up. This write-up was co-published as a Briefing Paper by the Oxford Research Group (ORG) and CARC. Furthermore, this event led to an ongoing relationship between the participants with ORG possibly trailing a pilot project in Yemen with its local partners in the region.
In addition to organising events, I was tasked with writing the research centre’s blog and further developing different blog series in order to commission content of interest to students, staff and other parties.With the help of other students, I started a blog series about analysing different conflicts and inviting students to publish their analysis of a particular conflict as part of the series. I have enjoyed coordinating with students, editing articles and expanding my knowledge about various conflicts.
Furthermore, my responsibility encompassed using and managing the CARC social media accounts –Twitter, Facebook and Email –to promote the work of the Centre and to raise its profile. Besides my work, communicating with other students is important in order to find out about the needs and interests of students and to utilize the potential of the centre.
This internship has given me valuable insight into what my strengths are, what career I want to pursue in the future and how much fun and versatile the work at a research centre can be. I truly enjoyed organising events and bringing experts together and saw that this coincides with my strengths. Furthermore, I enjoyed deepening my knowledge about ongoing conflicts and exploring various ways to mediating a conflict. In October, I will start my second year of my master’s program in Marburg, Germany and hope to continue being a link between CARC building a connections with scholars and students in Marburg.