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Why did you choose your internship?
The internship that I chose to participate in was offered through the UA’s Department of Spanish and Portuguese (I’m double majoring in Spanish and Applied Humanities). I was one of 15 students from the University of Arizona and we partnered with 15 students from La Universidad de La Rioja in Spain. The focus of the virtual internship program is to work towards the United Nations "Envision 2030" Sustainable Development Initiative and we considered immigration issues in relation to the UN's sustainable development goal, “Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions.”
One of the reasons I chose this internship was because I wanted the opportunity to interact with native Spanish speakers before I go to Barcelona to study abroad this summer. Although I get to practice my language skills through my Spanish classes here, the internship experience really affirmed my language skills because I was actually interacting with students my age who live in Spain and speak Spanish as their first language. It was very cool to see my dedication to learning Spanish pay off when I could have full conversations with the other students who have spoken Spanish their entire lives. I feel reassured that I will be able to communicate with anyone in Barcelona when I travel there this summer.
What skills did you gain from your internship experience?
The biggest skills that I got the opportunity to work on throughout the course of this internship were communication and time management skills. We were working with students who live in a country that is 9+ hours ahead of our time zone, so there were only so many times that we could meet up and get to work. We definitely faced some difficulties in the beginning of the internship. At times, it was frustrating because we would be trying to get a hold of one another while half of us were asleep. While it definitely made things more complicated, working with students in Europe was definitely a learning experience and we figured it out using tools like WhatsApp.
How did your Applied Humanities major coursework help prepare you or give you unique insight for the internship experience?
Many of the courses that I have taken for my Applied Humanities major have to do with expanding my knowledge of other cultures, different professions, lifestyles, etc. I think that this knowledge came into play for my internship experience because I was spending a lot of time interacting with people who live in another country and therefore have a completely different culture and background than I do. I also feel that my previous Applied Humanities courses helped prepare me because one of our main focuses throughout the internship was focusing on immigration in relation to the UN’s sustainable development goals. Immigration is a topic that I feel I would not be as fit to take on had I not taken certain PAH courses.
What advice do you have for other students as they search for or begin their internship?
My biggest piece of advice for students who are just beginning to search for their internship would be to keep an open mind! I had no idea that this internship even existed and definitely did not think to begin my search through the UofA. Actually, I stumbled upon this internship by accident. I was meeting with my Spanish advisor to discuss classes when she told me about the opportunity. I agreed to participate and the rest is history! I am telling this little story to remind incoming Applied Humanities students that you may find your internship in the most random places, so just always keep an eye out because you never know when you may run into an unexpectedly great opportunity!