Why My Resume & Interview Will Standout After Interning Abroad

Why My Resume & Interview Will Standout After Interning Abroad

“I developed my communication skills and leadership ability, which set me up quite well for what was thus far, the most humbling experience of my life.”

Churros con Chocolate

Churros con Chocolate

 

As a Columbia University student, the pressure to build your resume is everywhere—in the emails from the career center, in the meetings with your advisors, and in conversations with your peers. As someone who since even before High School has always been very involved on and off campus, I was ready for a change, something to really make the “work experience” section of my resume pop while adding some flavor to my summer. That’s how the PINC Internship program caught my eye. I always wanted to go abroad, but of course with my very full extracurricular load I didn’t want to take time away from the academic year, so summer was the perfect option. CEO & Founder of the PINC Internship, Lisette Miranda, masterfully took all of my concerns to heart and found just the right position for me. Over this past summer I interned for Serve the City-Madrid—an international non-profit founded in Brussels, with branches all over the world. It’s now abundantly clear that the in the year leading up to the summer of 2015, culling through my previous work experience with Lisette helped me find the right fit for my summer internship.

My supervisor, Executive Director of the Spain branch, Warren Batt, originally from England, gave me full reign over two developing projects 1. Facilitating intensive research on what motivates people to volunteer and what non-profit organizations are looking for in volunteers and 2. Creating and establishing a catalogue of children’s activities that volunteer leaders could bring to our charity partner organizations. I was able to run with these two projects on my own time and with direction from Serve the City’s staff, even leading our high school volunteers to contribute. The dynamic sales training that my Warren provided me with pushed me to run with these tasks under while keeping in mind our organizations values and mission.

An integral part of our research on volunteerism included me directly reaching out to non-profit organizations throughout the world, specifically in the UK, USA, Netherlands and Australia. The global perspective I gained through this project is paramount. On a day-to-day basis, I scanned the Internet for organizations whose missions strongly resembled our own, and who I thought would want to be at the forefront of improving how non-profits interact with their volunteers. I was truly able to make the experience my own every step of the way, in that I was given the autonomy to cultivate our research.

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Additionally, I developed my leadership skills through two projects. The first, I was able to head our creation of an activities catalogue for the children our charity partners serve, through leading our high school volunteers. In heading this project, I developed my communication skills and leadership ability, which set me up quite well for what was thus far, the most humbling experience of my life. Second, during the last week of my internship, one of the girls from the PINC Immersion program shadowed me as we together went all around the city telling small businesses about Serve the City and asking them if we could flyer at their location. Being a guide through Madrid speaking solely in Spanish about Serve the City was empowering and a testament to the last two months I had spent cultivating my language skills and my ability to lead others.

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I was afforded the opportunity to lead 15 volunteers in painting a shelter for sex-trafficked victims. I can confidently say that at only 20 years old, leading volunteers, older than me, some of who only spoke Spanish was the most humbling, and valuable experience for my development as a professional. The feeling that I got from being given the responsibility over a major development project cannot be fully explained in words (as cliché as that may sound).

And guess what, now I’m back in the big apple, taking on my junior year with stride. My time abroad; learning to live in a brand new city, with different customs, and without my native language with different customs, it’s not easy, but my goodness it’s worthwhile. Whether I realized it at the time or not, the confidence I was developing day by day as I walked down Calle Arenal, drank tea at a terraza in Plaza de España, or strutted through the crowds of Sol to the nearest discoteca. It’s been a month now since I started my junior year at Columbia University, and I can already tell it’s going to be a good one, thanks to the foundation that interning in Madrid gave me.

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Next Madrid Internship Program:

June 11, 2016 – August 6, 2016

Apply Here

About the Author:

Elle Wisnicki is a junior at Columbia University working towards a degree in Human Rights, Sociology and Hispanic Studies. All the way from sunny Hollywood, CA, Elle enjoys the hustle and bustle of NYC, which includes adventures with friends and engaging in Judaism as a Columbia/Barnard Hillel Social Justice fellow. She hopes to go into the Public Health field to work towards health equality for women and children, where her Spanish skills are sure to be the dynamic edge to push her above and beyond. 

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