Exhibition Participant to Intern: One Woman's Experience at IMOW

[Editor's Note: The following is a guest blog post from Ally Zeifman, a participant in our Young Women Speaking the Economy exhibition from 2011, who is now undertaking a six-month internship at IMOW. Hear from Ally about what she learned from IMOW and what's next for her moving forward. Thank you, Ally! 

IMOW is currently holding another call for participation for our next exhibition, Muslim Women's Art & Voices. Learn more and apply to be part of that project here!]
Ally Zeifman

How I got involved in Young Women Speaking the Economy

Despite involvement in various women’s organizations, and making a focus on gender within International Relations the focus of my studies for the past six years, I had not heard about IMOW until I signed up to participate in the Young Women Speaking the Economy exhibit – and I am glad that I did. I was living in Aarhus, Denmark at the time, and saw a poster for it on a professor’s door. Why did I decide to take what was considered an extra course on top of my already full MA Schedule? The idea of connecting with diverse groups of women from three other countries about our economic futures was intriguing to me, and I knew I had to become involved! Luckily I was allowed to join the Danish group of young women, and in the end produced a short audio documentary/interview about women and social poverty in Denmark. By the time my own work was done, I found myself checking out the IMOW website on a regular basis as I found it gave me some great ideas and inspiration for many things that were going on in my research at the time.

Why Intern at IMOW

Now that I have graduated, I had a decision to make. Should I pursue additional education? Apply for jobs in Denmark? Apply for jobs in Canada? Apply for jobs….somewhere else? Or…intern? Given that my degree is in International Studies, a multidisciplinary field, I could go in a multitude of directions. I know I want a job where I can travel or work with multicultural groups internationally, and I know that I want to be involved in issues that intersect with gender or women’s human rights, but I am not yet sure what that position is, or how to attain it. This is where some creativity will be required. I decided that while I figure out which direction to go in I would intern at IMOW. I think this was the right decision to make for several reasons: my MA thesis was about Transnational Feminist Networks, and IMOW itself can be considered as a huge women’s network. Also, I feel that working here over the next six months I will inevitably come into contact with content that is highly relevant to my thesis research and personal passions. Hopefully this will spark my creativity, and help in deciding what to do next. The idea of living in beautiful San Francisco, California also doesn’t hurt! Just like the Young Women Speaking the Economy exhibit highlights, finding a way to merge your personal interests with economic necessity is key for navigating the changing global economy, and for now, I think this was the best way to go!

What’s next? 

I think that my internship experience at IMOW will culminate in me going one of three ways. First would be that I find a topic I love enough to want to write a Ph.D. project (I love the idea of research and teaching). However, I have yet to stumble upon a topic I know I could commit myself to for several years. I am also still intrigued by the idea of going to law school and combining a law degree with the International Relations MA in order to do legal advising for a worthy NGO or formal organization. Finally, I may just decide to pin down exactly what my dream job is, and start trying to achieve it! Only time will tell what happens next, but in the meantime I am the happy new SF resident and IMOW intern.