Summer Internships: Emma Gross '25
Name: Emma Gross
Class Year: 2025
Major: International Studies
Minor: Political Science
Hometown: Ottsville, PA
Internship Organization: Nationalities Service Center
Job Title: Survivor Services Intern
Location: Philadelphia, PA
What's happening at your internship? We would love to hear what kind of work you are doing!
I work in the survivor services department, where we work to connect survivors of human trafficking, torture, and domestic violence to social, health, and legal resources. I work under the case managers and primarily have been compiling resource lists for clients and reaching out to community organizations, then following up by meeting with clients to go over the resources and provide any emotional support I can as well. In addition, I do screenings for survivors of torture and financial aid-based screenings to help assess clients’ needs and how the program can best support them.
Why did you apply for this internship?
Last summer, I had an internship at an immigration law firm, and while I did enjoy that, I wanted to explore a more social approach to justice and work more one-to-one with clients as opposed to doing a primarily research-oriented internship.
Can you talk about the skills you are learning and why they are important to you?
I have been learning a lot of skills relating to trauma-informed care and how to talk through emotionally complicated situations with clients with the goal of making an action plan. I have really been enjoying learning the trauma-informed care techniques because I feel like I am able to better communicate with clients and approach each situation in an individualized and empathetic way. A lot of the time, we are talking about some issue relating to a past or present trauma, so it is empowering to know how to properly take that information and use it to inform an action plan for the client.
What has been the biggest challenge you have faced at your internship?
The biggest challenge with this work has been knowing that I can’t make everything better instantly. There are no easy fixes that address the complexity of the client’s needs, and it was difficult to come to terms with the fact that clients will not always leave in a better situation than they arrived in. I know that each piece of care that we offer is helping to some extent, and that has been really keeping me encouraged. However, it is still challenging knowing that there is no magic wand that will magically fix all of the problems at hand.
Visit the Summer Internship Stories page to read more about student internship experiences.