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Professional & International: Interns at I-House

“There are so many different cultures here…The people are so open [at I-House] and there are lots of great events and sports activities.”

Daniel Dreyer, Resident and DZ Bank Intern

This fall, instead of spending their days in classrooms, some International House Residents are interning all over Manhattan. From corporate banks to community centers and nonprofit organizations, there are many Residents who find their work in New York City greatly aligns with global focus and service-minded mission of I-House.

Meet Daniel Dreyer, a German Resident at I-House interning at DZ Bank. He’s working in the compliance department full-time, where he is involved in checking transactions, reviewing controls and sanctions, and conducting analysis for the bank. He has greatly enjoyed his time in New York so far and has already participated in numerous cultural events.

He says living at I-House adds value to his experience. “There are so many different cultures here. You [can] always learn something new. The people are so open [at I-House] and there are lots of great events and sports activities.” Before coming to America, Dreyer was earning money as a soccer player but was “looking to gain experiences in another country.” He “loves the culture, food, and how people are more open” in the U.S. and explained it’s why “America is my favorite country.”

Annie Zeleznikow (right) is another new Resident interning at an organization dedicated to helping make the world a better place. She is originally from Melbourne, Australia and a social work intern at the Jewish Community Center (JCC) in Manhattan. Zeleznikow grew up with an academic father and traveled a lot at a young age, having lived in places such as the U.S., the Netherlands, and Scotland before coming to I-House.

Zeleznikow loves living at I-House because she’s able to find a sense of community with other aspiring social workers living at the House, which she says is offers a great support system and another source of friendship. “It’s nice to talk to other social workers at I-House and learn how to respond to difficult situations.” She’s got a very busy schedule, juggling both her internship at the JCC and pursuing her master’s degree in Social Work, but loves to take advantage of New York’s world-renowned theater scene and museums whenever she can.

Zeleznikow runs JCC programs for the special needs center and also assists with the JCC’s Literature Club, which is writing and editing focused. She also helps organize the JCC’s Senior Tech Program, where teens teach seniors how to use social media and email. Since starting her internship, Zeleznikow’s supervisors advised her that she was “not a volunteer anymore. What I say carries more weight and has more impact” now that she’s graduated to the intern level.

Michael Memari (above) is also a new Resident to I-House. He’s originally from San Diego, California but lived in Washington, D.C. and Cairo, Egypt before coming to New York to intern at the United Nations. Memari has been working in the UN’s Office of the Advisors for the Prevention of Genocide and the Responsibility of Prevention (OSAPG) since August. Prior to coming to I-House, Memari attended Georgetown University for his undergraduate degree. There, he focused on Middle Eastern Studies, his primary area of interest in part because of his father’s Iranian heritage. Before I-House, Memari participated in the Fulbright Scholarship Program, teaching English to students — he’s also fluent in Farci and Spanish.

Memari is dedicated to making a difference at a global scale and finds living at I-House really complements his passion for international relations. He values the institution’s “public service to the idea of a global international community” and was drawn to I-House’s environment, which he sees as a “center of talented young people from different cultural backgrounds.”

Nikolai Wansart is a Resident from Cologne, Germany. He’s interning at the German American Partnership Program at the Goethe Institute New York. He is pursuing the German equivalent of a B.A. and M.A. in Education there and is focused specifically on the study of English and Religious Education. His time at I-House is part of a semester abroad for his program.

At his internship, Nikolai helps the German American Partnership Program coordinate exchanges between high schools in the U.S. and Germany which help foster and strengthen cross-cultural relationships between the nations. He also works on the Program’s PR efforts, screening the news for press coverage of the Goethe Institute’s German American Partnership Program. Once he finds coverage, Wansart writes brief summaries of the articles for the Program’s website. Wansart has found his internship quite satisfying so far because of the small team’s big impact and its focus on education.

From the DZ Bank to the JCC, the United Nations and the Goethe Institute and beyond, there are so many great Residents at I-House this fall whose internship work is strengthening international relations. In addition to Michael, Annie, Daniel, and Nikolai, there are many other Residents from across I-House interning this fall, working in a wide range of fields from finance to non-profit, community and media organizations.