Jennifer Guzman was a Rudolph Scholar at the Clinton School for Public Service in 2015, when she attended the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service and interned with Vital Voices Global Partnership in Washington D.C.
Where are you from?
Little Rock, Arkansas
Where did you go to school? What did you study?
I completed my undergraduate studies at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock where I double majored in international studies and French. I attended the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service where I received a master of public service in May of 2016.
What was the best part of your internship?
The best part of my fellowship at Vital Voices was traveling to Mexico City with members of the human rights team to experience first-hand the training methodology that is utilized by the Justice Institute on Gender-Based Violence. The Justice Institute is a multi-sector interactive training program that promotes employing a holistic response to addressing violence against women, focusing heavily on victim safety and offender accountability. This was the program I was evaluating as part of my capstone at the Clinton School and being able to witness the implementation of the training program was extremely helpful to my work. Additionally, I met a wonderful judge from Guadalajara who I am still in touch with to this day – I’ve actually seen her in Argentina and Mexico since that first initial trip!
What lessons did you learn that you would like to pass on to future interns?
Be proactive and take initiative! Part of my job now involves managing the interns on our team and it speaks volumes when interns actively ask for tasks and do not just wait to be given something to do.
What are you doing now?
Currently, I am a Senior Program Coordinator on the human rights team at Vital Voices. My work is heavily focused on implementing the Justice Institute on Gender-Based Violence (GBV). Our next Justice Institute will be in Belfast, Northern Ireland and I am so excited to learn more about the legal framework they have for addressing GBV.
What do you hope to be doing in 10 years?
This is something I am currently struggling to decide! I would love to work on the policy side of women’s rights issues. I think I would also enjoy working on someone’s political campaign strategy. I have also considered going to law school because that is such a valuable skill set to have. Essentially, I am at a crossroads right now where I am thinking hard about my next steps and I hope to be able to narrow down my options.
What is your favorite book and what are you reading now?
I am currently reading Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg. I just started reading it so I’ll have to let you know my thoughts once I’m done! If there are any fans of Harry Potter, I would highly recommend them to reread the series. I am currently on book three and some of the themes that J. K. Rowling touches upon are more relevant than ever given our present political climate. Even though I’ve read the series multiple times before, coming back to it as an adult has helped me better understand and appreciate the relationship between the fictional wizarding world and our own reality.
Tell us a fun fact!
My favorite movie is She’s the Man. I’ve seen it at least thirty times and I never get tired of the jokes!