Gaucho Intern Spotlight: Featuring Career’s Internship Scholarship Program 2018 Debbie Fleming Internship recipients!

Internship Scholarship Program 2018 Banner_Updated

Learn more about the summer experiences of our two Debbie Fleming Internship award recipients!

Student Name: Dami

Expected graduation date: June 2020

Major(s): Psychological & Brain Sciences

Organization Name & Internship Title: Habitat for Humanity- Construction & Marketing Intern

Location of Internship: Carpinteria, CA & Goleta, CA

  1. Briefly describe a typical day at your internship, such as the type of training you received or project you worked on. Any highlights or favorite moments?

For the first half of my internship, I worked as a construction intern. A typical day involved arriving at the building site in Carpinteria where I was briefed on the current state of the three homes we were building. I would then be instructed on the necessary safety precautions and assigned to the day’s task.

For the second half of the internship, I worked as a marketing intern. A typical day involved arriving at the office in Goleta and being assigned specific products to market to the public. I would take pictures of the products, fill out a descriptive sheet, and post them online for consumers to see.

  1. How did this internship or research experience help you to explore and prepare for your career goals? (i.e. consider the biggest take-away(s) or skills from the experience that will help you in the future; or valuable connections you made along the way).

My career goal is to earn my Master’s degree in Public Health and open up a few non-profit agencies that aim to address health issues in underprivileged communities. Working for Habitat for Humanity gave me the chance to see the inner workings of a nonprofit up close and personal. I also had the opportunity to meet and interact with higher-ups in the organization who openly shared their experiences with me and advised me on paths to take. Everyone freely offered guidance and encouragement which helped solidify my desire to work in the nonprofit sector.

  1. In what ways did Career Services’ Internship Scholarship award help you to participate in this summer internship?

The Career Services’ Internship Scholarship award helped me participate in this summer internship by alleviating the financial load that comes with spending the summer in Santa Barbara. The scholarship allowed me to pay for rent and transportation throughout the summer.

  1. What 1-2 pieces of advice would you give to fellow Gauchos to help them find and apply to this specific internship, or a similar internship?

My advice is to start your search early and cast your net widely. Some companies may take some time to get back to you, so it’s important to start early so you have ample time to await responses while simultaneously applying to various other positions. It’s important to cast your net widely because you won’t know the full extent of the experiences and skills a position can provide for you until you go in for an interview and ask more detailed questions. You’d be surprised how many organizations are open to amending the roles and duties of a position to further include things that would benefit your future professional goals.

Student Name: Miriam

Expected graduation date: June 2020

Major(s): Sociology and Global Studies 

Organization Name & Internship Title: UCEAP Public Health Internship

Location of Internship: Mae Tao Clinic, Mae Sot, Tak Province, Thailand

  1. Briefly describe a typical day at your internship, such as the type of training you received or project you worked on. Any highlights or favorite moments?

During the field study component of my time abroad, we were split into four groups with a specific focus; my team was originally assigned the topic of migrant workers’ occupational health, but after some clarification we changed our topic to the emotional well-being and the journey to life satisfaction. A typical day during my internship abroad consisted of going to various different organizations that were related to human rights, public health, and border relations. During these visits we would have discussions with leaders of the organizations and learn from them about the different resources they have for border populations. My group was guided and advised by Dr. Cynthia Muang’s son, Mr. Muang, a preceptor from Mae Tao Clinic who taught us a lot about the dynamics of the clinic and the advances it has made since its foundation. Mae Tao clinic is one of the few facilities that provide low-cost accessible health care to migrants from Myanmar. We learned a lot about the issues that surround the Thai-Myanmar border and about the challenges that lack of access to health care can cause for displaced people. However our main study and focus was on the Burmese communities we lived with for a week. They adopted us into their home and allowed us to see life through their eyes. After the homestay week, we went back to our hotel and began to brainstorm in what direction we wanted to take our study. My team and I would have daily meetings to discuss new findings and plan exercises and activates we would bring out into place with our families during our weekly visits. At the end of the five weeks in Mae Sot we presented our findings to our community and that marked the end of the field study. I would say that the homestay experience was my favorite part of this field study, because it really challenged me to think and live outside of my comfort zone, and I think that’s the best place for one to grow as an individual, and also as a student and learner.

  1. How did this internship or research experience help you to explore and prepare for your career goals? (i.e. consider the biggest take-away(s) or skills from the experience that will help you in the future; or valuable connections you made along the way).

This field study has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life because of how incredibly immersive it was. Not only immersive in the Thai language and culture, but also in Burmese, Karen, and other ethnicities from Myanmar. The majority of the program is spent in Mae Sot, located minutes from the Moei River, which serves as the divider between the two countries. This proximity to Myanmar allowed us to really understand political and social conflicts. I can testify that my cultural awareness has definitely been impacted and enriched by the experience of living with a Burmese family for a week, and constantly being in contact with our Burmese preceptors and friends. The homestay experience allowed me to see how community-based and family-oriented Asian culture is. During my homestay I had some culture shock with bucket showers, eating without utensils, and everyone sleeping in the same space with no sense of privacy. I was very uncomfortable at first, especially because of the language barrier, but I was able to form a bond with my host sisters and soon that discomfort went away and I truly felt a part of the family. My host mom and dad called me daughter and said a part of their family would be missing when I left. There are so many differences between the cultures I was exposed to in Asia and my own, but one thing that is undeniably true in both is how important family is. This experience has brought me many social and interpersonal skills, forming bonds with non-verbal communication and letting go of many preconceived ideas in order to allow real experiential learning.

  1. In what ways did Career Services’ Internship Scholarship award help you to participate in this summer internship?

The Career Services’ Internship Scholarship was extremely helpful during my time abroad because it removed a financial burden that would have been present if I hadn’t received it. This program was oversees and although I did have some financial aid assistance, the cost of the program would have been out of my reach if I hadn’t applied to scholarships. The assistance from this scholarship was used for all of the meals and other necessary expenses that came up during my time in Thailand. For example, during my time in Mae Sot, it rained about 80% of the time, a weather condition I was unprepared for and therefor I had to purchase rain clothes, shoes and an umbrella. In addition, I had to also purchase my own personal items, such as mosquito spray and hygiene products. The assistance from this scholarship allowed me to focus on my studies without the constant worry of food insecurity or financial hardship, something that I am very thankful for.

  1. What 1-2 pieces of advice would you give to fellow Gauchos to help them find and apply to this specific internship, or a similar internship?

This program is a great experience for any Gaucho looking for further their knowledge on global events and border relations. Global health is an all encompassing area that can be looked at through the lens of many disciplines, and that is something that can definitely be testified after participating in this study. I would recommend this program to students who are interested in public health and community development. This is not a program that should be taken lightly because it is very intense and full of many life-changing experiences. If a student is considering this program they should know that there will not be much leisure time to travel during the seven weeks of the program. The entire seven weeks are intensive, spent learning and absorbing information about public health, Thai/Burmese culture and political/ social/ ethnic tensions. The homestay competent is truly a special experience. The conditions are very different in each village, but they are a complete 180-degree change from any conditions seen in the United States. Students interested in this program should be open to cultural and social differences and should come into this program with an open mind and open heart because chances are many of the preconceived ideas they have will be thrown out the window.

Thanks to our recipients for sharing all about their summers! To learn more about Career Services Internship Scholarship Program, check out our website: http://career.sa.ucsb.edu/internships/scholarship

 

 

 

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