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Amie Bah appreciates importance of impact through WorldStrides internship

September 14, 2023

Author: Audrianna Wilde


Woman working at a computer in an outdoor space

In Baltimore, Maryland, Amie Bah interned with Envision by WorldStrides as a program office assistant, where she discovered the importance of impact, no matter the size. Bah credits the success of her internship experience to the practical, real-world applied studies she was exposed to through the Master of Public Administration (MPA) program at Ohio University’s Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Service.

Bah earned a B.A. in Development Studies with a minor in management from the University of The Gambia (UTG) in 2014. In 2021, Bah decided to continue her education at Ohio University to pursue a Master of African Studies through the Center for International Studies.

Shortly after she began her program, Bah noticed that her writing and research had become centered around food insecurity and the role of public services in combating the issue. It was this realization that led Bah to pursue her MPA and take on a dual degree.

“I was like, ‘I think I need to study public administration because this is something I want to do,’” Bah said. “I want to be involved in organizations or governments that put together plans or policies to address food insecurity because this is something that people are facing, especially my people back home.”

While Bah’s summer internship was focused on targeting food insecurity, Bah hoped to utilize her time working for WorldStrides to gain valuable experience in the public administration field and develop herself professionally.

Envision by WorldStrides offers summer career exploration programs to students ranging from elementary school to college. Bah worked in the advanced medicine program for high school students, where she was in charge of managing 24/7 communications between WorldStrides and three separate sessions of around 140 students and their families. She was also responsible for maintaining paperwork and communications between staff.

Throughout her experience, Bah found working in customer support to be the most interesting and rewarding aspect of her job. Often, Bah would find herself responding to upset or confused parents calling about their child.

“But after talking to them calmly and explaining to them what was happening, I always felt happy because I was able to change somebody's mood by the time the call ended,” Bah said. “The parents ended up being very thankful to me for providing information or for calling them back. In the end, some even wrote very beautiful notes about how grateful they were.”

As Bah faced daily challenges, she recalled what she learned through the Voinovich School and appreciated that she could use those lessons as a guide. Crucial to her success in her internship were teachings on how to thrive in a diverse work environment through the use of communication skills, relationship-building skills, and conflict-resolution skills.

“Something will happen and it will remind me of a conversation I had with a lecturer or conversation I had with colleagues in class and whenever I remember it makes me smile,” Bah said. “I'm like ‘This is exactly what we were taught.’”

Not only did the assignments and in-class discussions contribute to Bah’s preparedness, but insights provided by guest speakers were essential in helping her understand how to apply her studies to life and any responsibilities that a future career might entail.

Bah specifically noted that courses taught by Professor Faith Knutsen and Dr. Allison Ricket, Dr. Jim Mahoney, Dr. Sarah Davis and Dr. Lesli Johnson, and the speakers they hosted played a critical role in her professional growth.

“Our lecturers would invite experts to come talk about their day-to-day work, how they overcome challenges and how to be a leader,” Bah said. “This was really helpful because they made it easier for me to understand what I should expect to happen in my workplace and how to react, even if it was unexpected.”

In addition to her repertoire of knowledge gained from the Voinovich School, Bah’s internship exposed her to new experiences that she feels could allow her to stand out as a future job candidate.

“What I loved about my internship the most was learning how to work with children, specifically teenagers,” Bah said. “I feel like from here I can work with any organization that is dealing with children—that is how confident I am after working with WorldStrides.”

Throughout her internship, Bah felt fulfilled in knowing that she was able to better people’s lives. Looking toward her job search, she hopes to find more work that will allow her to make a difference.

“Scholars will come to us and tell us ‘When I was coming here, I was not sure whether or not I wanted to study medicine—now I am sure I want to do it,’” Bah said. “I feel like I've impacted people's lives very positively and this is something that I want to continue doing.”

Although Bah continues to strive toward her goal of fighting food insecurity, her internship provided her with relevant experience in public administration and excitement for what her future holds.

“I am looking forward to working with an organization or the government to contribute to people's well-being because that is what public administration is all about,” Bah said. “It's about helping solve people's problems. It's about helping to give people the things they deserve as human beings.”