The First Month of an Overseas Internship

Written by  August 1, 2014

An inside look at an internship in Argentina.

In the one month that I have been working for Fundación ICTUS, I have not only developed my understanding of marketing and communications, but also have had several insights that will strongly impact how I navigate the challenges that arise in my future work placements. The hands-on experience, coupled with continual exposure to a second language has been extremely enriching. I love being challenged personally and professionally on a daily basis.

To begin, in order to fully commit to one’s work, you have to be passionate about what your organization does. During this internship, I realized the time and attention it takes to reach an understanding of the organization’s visions and values. For instance, upon learning that Fundación ICTUS facilitates workshops and projects emphasizing integration in family relationships as well as mental and emotional health, it took time for me to grasp the importance of their work beyond my literal knowledge of the organization’s objectives.

However, after taking into account factors such as the social challenges posed to families by the difficult economic situation in the late ‘90s that followed years of military dictatorship in Argentina, it was easier to understand the drive behind the organization’s creation. As well, I really appreciated my directors’ efforts to invite me to various workshops to see their teams in action; this was an excellent way of helping me to understand what they do. Ultimately, after taking into account cultural and historical factors, I became more aligned with this organization’s mission statement and was able to commit to promoting and sharing their vision.

As I become more attached to the organization’s projects and goals, I have become more passionate about the growth of Fundación ICTUS. Therefore, another huge aspect of my internship experience is my vision of emphasizing sustainability within their operations. Some of the obstacles I have encountered in my work term are related to a lack of knowledge of important contacts and past successes. I really look forward to not only implementing a method to help the team manage relationships with contacts but also providing transition documents to aid the next intern who will occupy my position. To maintain continuity, I would also like to facilitate workshops with the team to train them in the use of the programs and software used to create our newsletter and videos as well as how to use all the marketing material created throughout the internship.

I feel so fortunate to come into work every day looking forward to the next project that I will tackle; my first work-term placement is turning out to be a great experience!

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Gillian Jose-Riz

Gillian Jose-Riz is a writer, an AIESECer and a commerce student at the University of Victoria. Her internship in Argentina will be her first time living outside of Victoria and away from her family, but she looks forward to the challenges and adventures!

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