The Doors an Internship Can Open
Aaron Hinds, a 2018 graduate who majored in International Studies, is spending his first post-graduation year more than 7,000 miles from Denver.
Hinds is teaching English near Hong Kong, where he said he would never be if it weren’t for the generous $2,500 Career and Professional Development Summer Internship Award he received in 2016.
The award allowed him to say “yes” to a once-in-a-lifetime internship with an international law firm in Beijing.
“I come from a low socioeconomic background. Funding any experiences outside of school all fell on my shoulders. I knew that the internship could propel me to new heights, but at the same time, I still had to have a roof over my head and eat,” Hinds said. “Without the award, I wouldn’t have been able to accept the internship.”
As an intern, Hinds collaborated with the firm’s partners to ensure legal documents that had been translated from Mandarin to English conveyed what the partners intended. He was also tasked with going after $2 million in funding for the development of a legal assistance application, something Hinds was able to do in less than a month.
Hinds’ hands-on experience in international law solidified his decision to pursue a career in the field.
“Since high school, I’ve known I wanted to do something to help international communities. When I was thinking about law, there were people who told me going into law would be like selling my soul. I thought, ‘Law may come with a good salary, but will I be happy?’” Hinds said.
After spending just one month at his internship, Hinds said he realized he truly did love the field.
He also loved China and is thrilled to spend the next year there—a year he hopes will help continue to deepen his international perspective.
When he returns from China, Hinds has his sights set on Harvard Law School.
“The fact that DU offers scholarships to support students who want to pursue internships that could really shape their careers shows the commitment the University has to helping its students—no matter their socioeconomic background—succeed,” Hinds said.
Assistant Vice Chancellor of Career and Professional Development Heidi Perman said she expects to hear more stories like Hinds’ in the future. Increasing support for internships is part of DU’s strategic plan, DU IMPACT 2025.
“We’re growing that support pretty rapidly, thanks to some very generous donations,” Perman said.