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Jackie Erlon-Baurjan

Year: Sophomore

Majors: Russian, Eastern European and Eurasian Studies (and planning to attend Ford School of Public Policy in the fall)

Internship: Peacebuilding Intern at the Post-Conflict Research Center in Sarajevo

What: Erlon-Baurjan researches and writes articles on issues in the Balkan region for an NGO dedicated to peacebuilding and nonviolence.

“The nature of NGO work is hectic,” says Jackie Erlon-Baurjan. “Every day what you do changes.” Learning to navigate that type of organization (the Post-Conflict Research Center) in an international city (Sarajevo) as a 19-year-old intern (the only undergrad in a cohort of master’s students) is a fast way to learn what you’re capable of.

“It’s been immensely rewarding and challenging learning to adapt,” she said. “It’s changed the way I look at things and that’s reflected in my personal development.”

Erlon-Baurjan spent her summer doing intensive research and writing for the center’s Balkan Discourse, a site that provides investigative journalism on the region’s issues. The work, which she discovered through the Opportunity Hub’s Alajebegovic Fellowship, has informed new aspirations. She hopes to wrestle with environmental issues, either as a journalist or policy-maker, in the future.