December 08, 2017

Every step junior Aminata Diallo has taken is getting her closer to her goal of becoming an immigration attorney, including her latest, which landed her in the halls of the European Parliament.

While in Brussels, Belgium, for her Global Opportunities experience, Diallo is interning with the European Parliament, the elected institution of the European Union (EU). She works in the office of Francis Zammit Dimech, a member from Malta who was elected to parliament just this year. Malta is an island country in the Mediterranean Sea about 50 miles from Italy’s southern coast

At the parliament, Diallo helped Zammit Dimech’s office prepare for his delegation’s first visit to Lebanon, where he toured refugee camps and was to have met with Lebanon’s prime minister. In December, Diallo will accompany Zammit Dimech to Strasbourg, France, (the official seat of the European Parliament).

“I’m basically creating a study guide about everything he needs to know about Lebanon for this trip,” she said. (The guide was turned upside-down, however, when Lebanon’s prime minister abruptly resigned.) “I also keep a log of what I’m doing, who I meet and how I’m feeling, so I can write a reflection at the end of the internship.”

Among her most moving experiences was being a part of a candlelight vigil held in honor of an assassinated Maltese journalist.

Diallo, a triple-major in political science, international studies and French, is completing her GO experience at the French-speaking Université libre de Bruxelles. Her program is administered by the Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE), through which she was placed in her Brussels internship.

Diallo has always sought out internships that play to her career aspirations. The summer after her freshman year, she interned at Project Vote Smart in Montana where she conducted research for prospective voters. The following summer she participated in the Discover Law Scholars Program at the University at Buffalo School of Law, a four-week summer residency program that introduces promising students of color to a career in law.

Diallo credits her academic advisor, Michele DeMary, professor of political science, with exposing her to unique opportunities off campus and relevant coursework on campus.

“I feel very prepared and it’s all thanks to the many opportunities I’ve had at SU,” Diallo said. “I’m with the big kids now, but I also am one of the big kids now!”