Nicholas Mascia, M.A. Food Studies
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Italy
Interning at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations was an integral part of my graduate degree. The position, which I attained because of AUR’s relationship with FAO, allowed me to apply, question, and expand what I was learning in the classroom at an organization whose main mission aligns with core elements of the Food Studies Master’s Degree. When deciding on a graduate degree program, I searched for an opportunity that would allow me to use my undergraduate studies of business and finance to work in development in poorer areas, specifically those defined as rural and agricultural. The internship gave me access to a team whose assignments were exactly in the field in which I wanted exposure. The RuralInvest team at FAO created a toolkit that is meant to be used to identify, prepare, evaluate, and monitor investment projects in rural areas. The toolkit is available to governments, NGOs, and private organizations worldwide who wish to use it. My role on the RuralInvest team was to help the group further develop and fine tune the toolkit by testing the software, and enhancing training materials. My time and work at FAO gave me unparalleled experience with key professionals in the world of rural development and improved my understanding of what action is being taken globally to alleviate rural poverty.