Between the months of May and July 2015, Cara interned for the Institute for Minority Rights at the European Academy of Bozen/Bolzano (EURAC). Her ten-week internship was, in many ways, a valuable learning experience. She learned about the successful yet fragile power-sharing arrangement that currently manages inter-ethnic strife between German- and Italian-speakers in South Tyrol. She learned that this wealthy alpine region, which shares a border with Austria, has struggled and indeed failed to respond appropriately to the increasing stream of migrants, who are bound for Germany and Scandinavia but find themselves “stuck” in Italy. More importantly, she learned about the day-to-day operations of EURAC, a tri-lingual private research centre that has played a major role in the social, political, and economic life of the region for the last twenty years. Given that her research interests in conflict management and immigration closely aligned with those of the institute, she found her overall internship experience to be both positive and beneficial to her development as an academic researcher and future doctoral candidate.

The main project that Cara worked on involved compiling a comprehensive bibliography of English sources on the law, government, and politics of Trentino-Alto Adige/South Tyrol. She worked exclusively under the supervision of two senior researchers who intend to use this bibliography as the basis for a “state of the literature” article that they hope to publish in this year’s issue of the Ethnic and Racial Studies Review. In addition to the bibliography, she spent a considerable portion of her internship on line-editing and language revision, as well as a number of organizational tasks related to the institute’s graduate student summer school, “Politics in Fragmented Polities: Cohesion, Recognition, Redistribution, and Secession.” Over the course of the summer school, numerous scholars from EURAC and major Canadian universities, like Queen’s University and the Université du Québec à Montréal, engaged in in-depth discussions about the challenges of complex diversity. Despite not being a registered student at the summer school, Cara was given the opportunities to attend these lectures and take part in the excursions to the provincial parliament and the city of Meran/Merano. As a result, she was able and indeed encouraged to network with prominent and established scholars in her fields of interest.

It is precisely this strong support system, coupled with the general convivial atmosphere of the workplace, that she appreciated most about her internship. From the very beginning, she was made to feel as though she were a genuine part of the team. Not once did she hesitate to approach any of the junior or senior researchers to seek career advice and ask them about their work; quite often they even encouraged her to do so. Under these conditions, she was able to broaden and enhance her academic research skills and thus progress in her MRP writing. Her only grievance about the internship was that it ended far too quickly!