Albany State University Student Completes Coveted Internships

Internships provide students with hands-on experience while helping students to make connections with industry leaders in their field of interest.  Even at height of the pandemic, virtual internships provided and continue to provide a valuable learning experience.  One such student, Zunaira Naeem a junior biology major at Albany State University in Albany, Georgia, believes in gaining experience outside of the classroom.  She has completed several internships, ranging back to her time in high school.
For example, she recently participated in the WWF-Pakistan’s Digital Eco Internship Program. Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic, the internship aimed at equipping the students to not only learn about the environmental challenges faced at a global level but also to generate innovative solutions in Pakistan. Naeem took part in digital awareness raising activities for pressing environmental issues and facilitated fundraising for relief campaigns.
She has participated in other internship programs advocating for the rights of women and transgenders. She facilitated WWF programs advocating for the rights of animals and the environment. She also did an internship with University of Florida in the intensive Summer Health Professions Education Program (SHPEP) where she participated in workshops and panel discussions of students and doctors of different fields of science. She furthermore has also interned at Exxon and was a junior ranger for a hiking trail.
Not content to just go to class, Naeem is heavily involved on campus being the Vice President of the Cultural Exchange Club and an Assistant in the Distant Learning Department.  She has been involved in her local community such as volunteering at the Akhuwat Society and Environmental Society.
Her vast internship experience and community service have inspired her to pursue medicine.  When asked about her aspirations, Naeem said in a statement, “My childhood dream of growing up to become a doctor was born with just a magic touch from a doctor’s healing hands. My first encounter with medicine was when my grandfather was admitted to the hospital and had to undergo surgery… [The doctor’s] motivation in taking full responsibility for the patient and continuing to treat my grandfather while we all gave up on his life, inspired my interest in pursuing a career in medicine. Ever since then, I always fantasized about becoming a doctor. It sparked my interest in patient contact and human engagement. Medicine being a science-based degree is a cherry on top, my love for science is beyond boundaries. I always found it motivating and exciting.”
As Naeem nears the completion of her studies and is preparing for admission into medical school, she continues to urge students to expand their interest outside of the classroom.  She believes that internships can make one more well-rounded and more competitive in both professional school admission and in the job market.   
In a final statement, she says, “My enthusiasm for this dream of becoming a doctor has been continuously reinforced and continues to grow my interests towards a meaningful career that positively impacts others.”


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