An internship is an opportunity for any student or professional to get hands-on experience with the field that they are interested in or going into. My internship experience through five weeks of the Summer of 2021 was just that and more. I participated in UTC’s inaugural virtual internship experience in collaboration for the School for International Training (SIT). My program was called India: Virtual Internship in Environment, Development & Sustainability. The unique part of this internship experience was that it was all virtual. This means that I did not physically go to India and participate in this internship during the summer. Instead, I met with advisors and organizations from India throughout the week to achieve my goals. Throughout this essay you will find not only a brief recap of this internship, but also an accumulation of what I learned from this experience.
From this internship experience I not only learned about my specific field of study, but also about the country that the experience was held in. Even though I was not physically in India I had the pleasure of being presented lectures on important Indian topics such as British colonialism, the caste system, development of India, the environment of India, and many more. I can now say without a doubt that my knowledge for the culture and people of India has grown exponentially since beginning this internship. Not only has my knowledge of India increased, but my appreciation for India and what the people of India must face on a day-to-day bases has increased as well. I not only learned about India, but about myself as well.
Looking back on this experience I realize that I learned that I really enjoy learning about new cultures and societies. The information that I got was interesting and important and I realized that I actually enjoyed getting this information. It was not at all boring for me, in fact it was exciting to learn about a country and culture that I did not know a lot about. Participating in this experience has taught me that there are immeasurable problems in the world that we need to solve but have never even heard of. Although this might sound gloomy, it is true. However, for every problem there is an individual or organization set out to solve this problem. This was inspiring for me because I realized that I wanted to be one of these problem solvers. If I had to describe this experience to someone, I would say that it was career changing. I have always had difficult narrowing down my interests and focus academically and professionally. This internship has led me in a more precise direction of what I want to do with my career going forward. This can not only be said about my current outlook but my future academic outlook as well. Especially when it comes to graduate school. Graduate school and what it offers is more concentrated and I desperately needed to find this concentration before applying to graduate school. This internship provided the guidance that I needed to start looking at and applying to graduate schools.
My internship experience through SIT and UTC has thoroughly changed my view of not only the world but my career. I learned that I want to have a positive impact, whether that be at a global, national, or community level. This internship provided me with the knowledge and confidence that I was looking for going into this internship. I can say that I am not only a more knowledgeable person, but a more confident person in achieving my goal after this internship. If I had any advice for a student who was looking at this virtual internship it would be this: do it.
Bo Nash is majoring in Environmental Science and participated in the summer 2021 URaCE and Office of Study Abroad virtual research internship abroad to India through SIT Study Abroad.
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