MIRC internship exit memo - Kalamazoo 2019

Fernando Urbina -- summer 2019

As an undergraduate student at Harvard University studying Government with a Secondary Field (minor) in Ethnicity, Migration, & Rights, I was drawn to MIRC by the desire to work closely with immigrant communities and to help connect them to resources which might be valuable. Furthermore, I was interested in learning more about the general structure of laws, and the ways in which they impact immigrant families, whether positively or negatively.

While interning at MIRC over the summer, I had the great pleasure of being a member of the Immigrant Workers' Rights (IWR) team. As a member of the Immigrant Workers' Rights team, some of my primary day-to-day responsibilities included communicating important information to clients over the phone, completing memos on various topics for the attorneys, and completing important forms and paperwork. Occasionally, I also had the opportunity to meet farm workers across the state in order to inform of their rights, travel to meet with clients one-on-one, and attend different community meetings and events as a representative for MIRC. In summary, the tasks I completed were highly diverse, which I enjoyed because it allowed me to learn many new things each day. All this being said, one of the things I most valued about being on the Immigrant Workers' Rights was that I always felt respected, supported, and appreciated by the rest of the team.

One of the things that was most valuable to me personally from my internship experience at MIRC was the sense of community within the office. I genuinely looked forward to walking into the office each morning, knowing that I was surrounded by a team who passionately cared about supporting immigrant families and also about supporting one another. It truly felt like I belonged and was contributing meaningfully to the organization, and that was very important to me. Additionally, upon returning to college, I have found that many of the things I learned at MIRC are incredibly applicable and relevant in many of the classes I am currently taking.

Overall, I am beyond thankful for the opportunity that MIRC provided me over the summer.