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Centenary Student Interns at the Malaysian Permanent Mission to the United Nations

04/30/2014, 02:54 PM

Hackettstown, N.J.– Centenary College senior Ithrana Lawrence certainly has an impressive internship that she can cite on her résumé: intern for the United Nations Third Committee on Social, Humanitarian, and Cultural Issues for the Malaysian Permanent Mission to the United Nations.  When the advisor of the Malaysian born Centenary student recommended that she apply for an internship with the Malaysian Mission, she thought that the possibility that it could actually happen was very remote.

“I suggested that Ithrana apply for an internship with the Malaysian Mission because she is insightful and very proactive,” says Dr. Shane Fitzpatrick, Associate Professor of Political Science and International Studies at Centenary College.  “I know that she would be an asset to the organization also because she had a depth of knowledge of the United Nations through her role as an ambassador in Centenary College’s Model United Nations Security Council course that I teach.  She already has exceptional diplomatic skills.”

When Lawrence inquired about the internship, she was granted an interview with the Head of Chancery and was offered the position, though she is the only intern for the Malaysian Permanent Mission to the United States who is an undergraduate student, not a graduate student.    She works for the United Nations Third Committee on Social, Humanitarian, and Cultural Issues.  This committee focuses on the examination of human rights questions, including reports of the special procedures of the Human Rights Council.  In this position, she shadows United Nations Third Committee Representative Farisha Salman, as well as attends meetings and takes minutes of the meetings.  She also does basic research about current events and issues related to Malaysia. 

“It is a pleasure working with Ithrana,” says Salman.  “She has such enthusiasm and a thirst for knowledge.  I wish her much success in the future.”

She travels to New York City once or twice a week.  She takes the 5 a.m. train and does not return home until 9 p.m. on some days, but the fulfillment that she gains is worth the long days.

“I am learning and experiencing so much,” says Lawrence. “I feel so fortunate to have this opportunity that at times it seems so unreal.”

After she graduates next month, Lawrence intends to continue on to graduate school and remaining in the field of International Relations.  Last month, Lawrence also traveled to Guatemala with a fellow student and a professor for a Global Humanitarian Service Project for Souls4Soles, Inc., as part of her graduation requirement.

Founded in 1867 by the Newark Conference of the United Methodist Church, Centenary College’s academic program integrates a solid liberal arts foundation with a strong career orientation. This mix is designed to provide an educational experience that prepares students to succeed in the increasingly global and interdependent world.

Centenary College’s main campus is located in Hackettstown, N.J., with its equestrian facility in Washington Township (Morris County).  The Centenary College School of Professional Studies offers degree programs in two locations: Parsippany and Edison, and at corporate sites throughout New Jersey.  The School of International Programs recruits international students for study at Centenary and Centenary students for study abroad.