Tayler Groom has joined the OICD as a volunteer while being on her exchange program at Doshisha University. Originally from the UK, Tayler has made OICD’s working group more international. Tayler is majoring in Modern History and Politics with a special interest in identity conflicts and, in the few months of her volunteer work, she has contributed to the development of OICD’s social media, research and projects.

Volunteering at the OICD truly epitomises the phrase ‘being thrown in at the deep end’ – my first week saw me reviewing books and articles, writing conference reports and drafting various internal documents, as well as researching alternative solutions for peace, and deepening my understanding of the issues surrounding conflict and identity.

My main focus during my time as a volunteer has been the drafting and implementation of a new Social Media Strategy, encompassing platforms such as our new WordPress blog, Identity Insight, LinkedIn, and further development of the Facebook and Twitter pages. As my first experience of working within a non-profit organisation, it is really encouraging to see my ideas and work having a tangible impact.

The working environment is vibrant and refreshing, with the other members comprising a variety of nationalities and coming from a diverse range of backgrounds, academic and otherwise. This certainly makes for engaging discussions, and helps create a stimulating yet focused organisational culture.

One of the major benefits of volunteering within a smaller organisation is the opportunity to work across a range of areas and projects, and experience all aspects of organisational life, along with gaining useful insights into the internal workings of non-profits.

The OICD has a highly interdisciplinary membership, enabling volunteers and interns to learn about and assist in research covering an array of interesting topics, from anthropological work to political science. What is particularly valuable about volunteering for the OICD is the possibility to apply academic theory and methodological research to current conflict situations. As a result, my comprehension of the dynamics of such situations, and the role of identity both in causing and resolving them, is continuously increasing.

What makes a volunteer position within the OICD so worthwhile is the ability to make a genuine contribution to the work of the organisation, and have your opinion as a member of the Working Group valued. It has been a great pleasure to join the organisation at such an exciting time, and I am looking forward to seeing it grow and develop during my time as an intern.

For more information on joining the OICD as a volunteer, please visit our Engagement page for Individuals here.