Name: Esther Kaufman '17

Title: Social Media & Communications Assistant

Employer: Unrepresented Nations & Peoples Organization (UNPO)

Major: Economics 

Minor: Global Terrorism





What do you enjoy most about your current position?

I am currently a social media and communications assistant to the Unrepresented Nations Peoples Organization (UNPO). As a human rights NGO the organization serves as an international platform for our members who are representatives of nations who lack state recognition. The best part of working for the organization is constantly learning about new issues all around the world. Although, at times it is disheartening to learn about the challenges facing millions, it is extremely inspiring to see the work and change that is being done by ambitious and young generations.

What is a typical day like in your position?

As UNPO has over 40 different members whom it helps represent, there are always new projects to work on. However, on a daily basis as a social media and communications assistant I monitor our social media accounts, and highlight relevant news that pertains to our members. As many members lack international recognition, their media channels often have limited audiences or are overshadowed by state operated ones. For this reason, maintaining a platform that allows for their news to be shared remains essential.

Which undergraduate experiences did you find most helpful in preparing you for your current position?

My experience as an ambassador to the BSOS College and the advice of my economics professors drove me to the position I hold today. Serving as an ambassador to BSOS allowed me to involve myself in a variety of events on campus that opened my eyes to the many different paths available in social sciences. My professors’ advice on postgraduation options and especially the value of gaining work experience drove me to remain open-minded and apply to a broad range of positions.

How has your coursework helped you in your current position?

Throughout my time at the University of Maryland, I enrolled in courses across a wide array of disciplines and colleges, which exposed me to many different worldly perspectives and interesting research topics. The exposure to diverse studies granted me the ability to develop sharp research techniques and a unique perspective with which to approach new topics. In addition, getting involved with Baha’i Chair blog at UMD gave me practice in succinct writing!

Any job or internship advice?

For those seeking to get involved in communications, I would recommend to stay open minded, apply to a broad range of firms and seek advice from professors! Professors want their students to succeed and have a lot of insight to offer! Final piece of advice? Seek out unique opportunities and don’t be shy in asking about ways to get involved in whatever peaks your interest. In short, take advantage of the UMD community. Most importantly, don’t get discouraged by rejection. When one opportunity doesn’t pan out, your passion will drive you to the next.