Connect-123

Connect-123

About

Connect-123 develops and administers internship programs in Buenos Aires, Argentina; Cape Town, South Africa; Shanghai, China; Dublin, Ireland; Sydney, Australia; and Barcelona, Spain. In all countries, internship opportunities are hosted by local companies, non-profit organizations, schools, research institutes and health care clinics.

Reviews

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Israel
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Trusting Connect-123 to match me with an internship was one of the best decisions I’ve made during my 4 years at Michigan State University. They listen to your goals and try to match those goals closely with various internships abroad. Thanks to Connect-123, I was matched with an internship that not only enhanced my skills of design, but also enhanced my skills on a communicative level. The staff at Connect-123 understand that this leap is important for many students, so they make it clear that this is a space to learn about yourself professionally. They take the time to listen and help you grow and they don’t expect you to have everything figured out already. Thanks to their opportunities, not only have I improved my skills, but I have also have an incredible experience to talk about to future employers. I’d definitely recommend this to all other students.

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
If I could do this all over again I’d definitely like to use my time to effectively do all projects in a well deserving manner. I definitely wish I had more time working with my internship to see what their full goals For me were.
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Merri
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I am so grateful for the opportunity Connect-123 had to offer. Working as an overseas intern was such an eye opening experience and one I will never forget. Everyone at the Connect-123 team are so helpful and supportive. Our group discussions we’d have every week helped boost my confidence and work hard on my internship. They also did an amazing job pairing me with the perfect internship because I created long lasting connections and learned so many new skills that will help me in my professional career. I’d recommend this program to all my peers because I had the time of my life participating in it!!! Thank you to everyone at Connect-123!!!

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Caroline
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

For my master’s degree program, I either needed to complete a master’s paper or an internship. I wanted to intern abroad, but due to the pandemic, it was suspended. However, in a short period, Connect-123 managed to find me a virtual international internship that aligned with my interests. Connect-123 has supported me throughout the process and after landing the internship. The organization provided weekly meetings to discuss the interns’ experiences and develop skills. The organization also hosted virtual workshops.

I have been working as an intern for an Argentina-based non-partisan organization that works to strengthen legislatures and consolidate democracy in Latin America. My tasks within the organization range from data gathering to investigation related to the Venezuelan crisis. My role within the organization was to assist the Political Analysis Coordinator in gathering quantitative data about laws passed by 18 countries in Latin America, including the Caribbean. In the last weeks of the internship, I worked on curating the database and making sure it was accurate for analysis. This process is critical for the organization to produce a legislative balance for each of these countries. I have come across the opportunity to stay for longer to help produce the legislative balance. I would be analyzing the quantitative information along with the data department. It could be an opportunity for me to strengthen my quantitative skills.

Overall, this internship has helped me strengthen my research and quantitative information skills. It's all thanks to Connect-123 and the extraordinary job they perform.

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Zachary
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

The coveted internship during/after your junior year of college was beginning to seem out of the question due to COVID-19. After expressing concerns to my advisor, he suggested I contact Connect123- they did the rest. They managed to find me an international internship that not only aligned with my interests, but was flexible around my university schedule. Genuine support from the organization was evident, providing weekly meetings to discuss our experiences and develop skills, along with immediate email responses to any questions. I would highly recommend utilizing the people at Connect123 to help you reach your internship goals.

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
Immediately engage with my supervisor! We've developed a good personal relationship and I should have started that sooner.
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Anna
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Connect-123 looked at my dream internship and made it a reality. With my passion for language exchange, economics, and law, Connect-123 placed me with a highly respected legal-economic think-tank in Madrid. It was everything I could have asked for! On top of the amazing placement process, the Connect-123 team always made me feel supported, with weekly workshops on how to succeed and get the most out of my internship, and genuine one-on-one check-ins from my coordinators. Connect-123 is truly the best opportunity to come my way during my entire college experience. This is an amazing organization that I would recommend to everyone!

Programs

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Alumni Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with verified alumni.

Josh is a Senior at CU Boulder studying International Affairs, Spanish, and Russian. This past semester he completed an internship in Buenos Aires with the Provincial Government working with the Department of Sustainability and Social Responsibility.

Why did you choose this program?

I chose this program because I didn't want to just study abroad. I wanted to do something more. More involved, more intense, and more rewarding (in my opinion that is). And really I wanted to experience working abroad, in a foreign language (my internship was 100% in Spanish). And Connect-123 provides that infrastructure does just that.

What did your program provider (or university) assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?

My university didn't assist with anything. So everything was dealt with by me and the program provider (Connect-123). Connect helped secure housing, and also put me in contact with various host organizations from which point I interviewed directly with them, and then selected my internship from there. I organized travel to and from Buenos Aires, and all the travel I did within Argentina was organized by me as well. Connect organizes weekly social events, and also organizes airport transport to your housing when you arrive, which is a great help.

What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?

Be prepared for anything! Keeping an open mind and having little to no expectations is the best advice I can give. Because by doing this, you aren't limiting yourself to anything, and instead keeping the experience wide open. Because the odds are that most things won't be exactly how you imagined them, and that is A-ok. That is part of the richness of working/studying abroad, is that you experience things you never anticipated!

What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?

Because of the fact that almost every participant has a different internship, there really isn't any such things as an average day. For me personally an average day was getting to the office at 10 am, working until 2 or 3, then a lunch break, then back to work until 6 or even as late as 9 pm before heading home on the metro (subte). Some days I would travel to La Plata (the capital city of the province of Buenos Aires) for meetings. I worked this schedule Monday thru Friday.

Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?

My biggest fear coming into the experience was that my internship wouldn't be a good fit, and I wouldn't gain the valuable professional experience that I was looking for. It turns out, this fear was realized! My first internship was not a good fit, and was not going to be an environment in which I could thrive and do that type of work I was interested in.

Instead of sitting idly by and waiting for the semester to end, or waiting for an internship miracle of some kind, I decided to change my situation. Connect-123 helped me find a new host organization, and ultimately I ended up working with the Province of Buenos Aires. Which turned out to be the best internship I could have imagined! Moral of the story is, yes sometimes (often times) things do not go as we have planned them to. That is ok, because amazing things can come from challenging and difficult situations, and make us more resilient in the process!

Is Buenos Aires dangerous?

This is a question that I hear and receive a lot. My answer would be no, it is not more or less dangerous than any major city around the world. It is good always be aware and cognizant of your surroundings, but I personally never had any issues with safety. If this is your main concern for participating in this program, I would say that yes Buenos Aires is a big city, but it should not stop you from coming and enjoying all that it has to offer!

Staff Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with program leaders.

Nikki Madden

Job Title
Dublin Program Coordinator
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Nikki joined Connect-123 after years of adventures, teaching, and projects abroad. After finding a job that helped other people to navigate new adventures, travels, and dreams, she willingly hung up her boots to help others experience the magic that is Ireland!

What is your favorite travel memory?

This is a toughie! Just one?!

Baby turtles hatching on the beach in India. Baby seals playing in rock pools in New Zealand. 36-hour train journeys in India. Amazing hikes in Nepal. Learning to sail in Australia. Tuk tuk journeys in Thailand. I've also had some great memories from teaching abroad! Some of the best times of my life!

How have you changed/grown since working for your current company?

This role has allowed me to develop my leadership and mentorship skills in a much stronger way. It has given me a chance to use my abilities and experiences to help navigate others and be a support in their own development.

I'm also constantly learning through my students about new and exciting things as well as developing how we work with students, companies, and events.

What is the best story you've heard from a return student?

I hear great stories all the time. I'm very proud of all the students here. Whenever I worry about the state of things in the world, I think about all our students who were always aiming for great things!

Recently, one of our students told me she got accepted into NASA, which was a massive dream of hers, just a few short months after they went home from Ireland! Massively proud as punch!

If you could go on any program that your company offers, which one would you choose and why?

I would love to go to South Africa as I've never been anywhere that looks like it. I'd want to do all those adventure activities –rock climbing, shark diving, trekking, go on Safari, see Table Mountain, sunshine, and get to Stellenbosch for some wine tasting!!

We've also got some amazing connect people there, and some really exciting projects! Ah bliss, it looks amazing!

What makes your company unique? When were you especially proud of your team?

For me, Connect-123 is a very special company. From the word go, they were supportive, nurturing and caring, and they built a fantastic environment and atmosphere for our team globally.

This feeling is what I think is passed on with us! We may be many kilometers apart, but we all get the sense that we are a team working towards a common goal.

When we all get together, it's lots of fun! I'm very happy and proud to be part of this family!

What do you believe to be the biggest factor in being a successful company?

I think the biggest factor in a successful company is passion, and loving what you do! I also think that as a company, we thrive on helping young people do amazing things in their lives, and to show them what is possible!

The youth of today are looking for experiences that help them see a better world. I like to think that our company is successful because we want to help empower these visions!