ABPA Alum, Mila Bitar, Shares Her Story From an ABPA Internship to a Job at the International Monetary Fund

“My internship was essential to getting to where I am today!”

Meet another ABPA student! This is Mila Bitar, a Middle Eastern native and a recent graduate from George Mason University with a B.A in Global Affairs and a concentration in Human Security and Global Governance. Mila has keen interests in sustainable development, foreign affairs, and international relations, which led her to an ABPA internship at Qatar-America Institute! After her internship at QAI ended, she got a job offer from the International Monetary Fund. We asked her a few questions about her internship, her job at IMF, and tips she has for other students!

ABPA

Where did you intern in this semester and what were some of your favorite projects? What impact did this internship have on your professional development? 

In my last semester of college, I started interning at Qatar-America Institute in Washington DC. It was a great experience working with QAI; I learned so much about Qatar’s culture from my work, my research, my supervisors, and my coworkers. Some of my favorite projects were researching Qatar National Vision 2030 and Qatar’s work on sustainable development. I also worked on the Years of Culture project, which is a cultural exchange program initiated by the Qatar Museum in 2012 to promote mutual understanding, recognition, and appreciation between countries. 

Mila was previously placed by ABPA at Qatar-America Institute for a spring internship.

ABPA

What was the most impactful experience or encounter during your time in Washington, D.C.?

The most impactful experience during my time with Qatar-America Institute was all of the guidance and mentorship I received from everyone while I worked there. All the fellows and managers have had a big impact on me, whether from school recommendations, career advice, or their knowledge and experience of working in DC.

ABPA

What are some skills you learned in your internship that you can apply to your future career? 

I learned many skills in my internship with Qatar-America Institute! The most important ones were networking and the importance of getting to know people who work in your field. I also learned how to manage my time effectively between my internship, work, and school, which was really challenging at first, but I learned how to balance my priorities. 

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What are some tips and recommendations you have for other students interested in an internship in D.C.?

My recommendation to anyone interested in internships in DC is to just go for it and to apply to anything that seems interesting! We live in a very competitive area and it can be challenging to get an internship, so I recommend applying to anything that fits in your field of interest and keeping an open mind towards opportunities. 

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Why did you choose to pursue a career at IMF? What do you think this choice says about your interests and ambitions?

When I decided to pursue my degree in Global Affairs, I added a concentration in Human Security, since I have interests in sustainability and fragile states. These interests led to me pursuing a career at IMF. Like many students I have a dream job and a career goal, and International Monetary Fund has always been one of my goals! I’m so happy and proud that I was able to obtain this job so soon after graduation, and I cannot wait to see what the future holds.

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Mila now is working full-time at the International Monetary Fund.

How did your internship prepare you for your new role at IMF? What skills and lessons you learned during your internship have helped you in your new role?

My internship was essential to getting to where I am today; QAI exposed me to events, allowed me to network with great people, and helped me learn so many interesting new things about working in DC. 

ABPA

How has ABPA helped you along this journey?

ABPA has really had a positive impact on my life, from placing me in my internship with Qatar-America Institute to helping me build and polish my resume with the workshop they held in Mason!

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Where do you see yourself a year from now?

A year from now, I see myself working with the IMF and continuing to work on my career. I also see myself pursuing a master’s degree.

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