While I was initially reluctant to complete a virtual internship experience, I am glad that I chose to do so via Evolve Abroad. From the start my mentor, Shayle, was incredibly supportive and it was an overall amazing experience.
As a global communications student with an interest in international development, Evolve Abroad’s “Era of Sustainable Development” program was a brilliant combination of learning about the challenges of sustainable development via coursework and working with an organization on the frontlines of sustainable development projects. Prior to the program you work with Evolve Abroad to determine your interests and goals regarding your internship and career and they place you with one of their partner organizations to complete work directly related to gaining experience and knowledge in your field and area of interests. They reviewed my internship placement match with me as soon as it was made to double check if it was what I was looking for, which was incredibly reassuring. Shayle and Natalie frequently checked back over the course of my internship to make sure I was getting on alright with my work and if I needed assistance. They also analyze your strengths and weaknesses at the start of the program and work with you on overcoming those weaknesses as part of your career development throughout the program. For instance, I worked to develop my network and networking skills with Shayle.
I interned with Action Change and while there was certainly a challenge to adapt to the virtual workspace, I was well supported by Evolve Abroad’s team and my coworkers at Action Change. The work you do is incredibly fulfilling, especially the more you learn via the online course in sustainable development with your intern cohorts. I learned a lot and ultimately feel as if I accomplished far more than I set out to do.
What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
An online internship may seem like it isn't worth it, but I guarantee you it is. You learn a lot and you should definitely take advantage of everything you learn and the connections you make with your cohort. Go to every cohort meeting if you can. The discussions are eye-opening; you get to see your coursework and internship work through the different perspectives of your cohort. Also, take advantage of the fantastic support provided by Evolve Abroad. Natalie and Shayle are always willing to help.