For college students, summers are a time for exploration. Thanks to the institution of the summer internship, we are able to try on jobs like shoes. We stuff our feet in, walk around for a few months, and hope for a fit. If we’re lucky, we leave with new skills, experience, and a clue as to where we might be headed. GBSN has given me all of that and more, and I am grateful to have had the opportunity to spend my summer in this office.
As a BBA candidate with an emphasis in International Business at the George Washington University, I was initially drawn to GBSN because of its international focus. I had never really looked into international development from a management education standpoint before, but I was intrigued by the concept. As I learned more about the organization, I realized that GBSN perfectly reconciled my interests in the private sector and non-profit work. I learned a lot about the ways in which non-profits, the private sector, governmental agencies and local economies are interdependent.
I have my supervisor, Stephanie, to thank for much of this newfound understanding. As Programs Officer for GBSN, Stephanie had a lot of responsibility, but she always made herself available for any questions I might have. Under Stephanie’s mentorship, I gained invaluable knowledge about both the work GBSN does, and the way in which they do it. I gained hard experience writing reports, conducting research, and creating budgets. I was assigned tasks that actually mattered. In particular, I did a lot of work on one of our current projects, Delivering Regional Instruction Vital to Entrepreneurial Success (DRIVES) Belarus. Stephanie’s trust in me to spearhead projects of value was integral to my professional development this summer. I am happy to say that I will be walking away with an intimate understanding of what actually goes into the programmatic efforts of large projects such as DRIVES.
My experiences at larger organizations stand in stark contrast to GBSN’s tight-knit, welcoming environment. Each and every person in the office went out of their way to make interns feel included. I will miss greeting the GBSN team each morning, and would absolutely recommend this internship to any student interested in learning new skills among people who are truly invested in your well-being.