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Working Toward a Better World

"You know how they say you have a calling in life? As cliche as that is, this is what it is for me: advocacy and policy design and research in those areas."– Zuhrat Inam, Bangladesh, College of Liberal Arts

Without scholarship offers from International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS), Zuhrat Inam would not have ended up at the University of Minnesota. The scholarships she received allowed Zuhrat to come to the U from Bangladesh.

Zuhrat knew she had a better chance at a quality education in the U.S. She explained that Bangladeshi universities are very competitive, with 300 to 400 people vying for a single seat in a good public school.

Not that Zuhrat isn’t competitive and ambitious. She’s majoring in both economics and political science, with a creative writing minor thrown in. Zuhrat juggles her schoolwork with volunteering at the Aurora Center for Advocacy and Education and working as an undergraduate research assistant at the Minnesota Population Center. She plans to start a masters program next year.

“I want to work in international development, specifically regarding humanitarian crises, refugee populations, and immigration conflicts,” Zuhrat said.

Zuhrat is working toward that goal with an internship at World Without Genocide, a human rights nonprofit in St. Paul. The organization works to spread awareness of human rights violations happening around the world and advocates for state laws to protect vulnerable populations.

As an operations and advocacy intern, Zuhrat helps with public relations and research. She’s currently studying cases of missing and murdered indigenous women in the U.S. and Canada.

“You know how they say you have a calling in life? As cliché as that is, this is what it is for me: advocacy and policy design and research in these areas,” Zuhrat said.

Wherever she ends up, Zuhrat hopes to humanize the conversation around international development.

“We talk in numbers and figures and statistics. But we tend to forget that these are real people.”

Date Published: April 2019

GPS