Summer Internship in a Pandemic Crisis: A Light in the Darkness

“Happy New Year!”
“I can’t wait for 2020”
“2020 please be good to me”

These are random New Year wishes that I had when Earth turned 2020. All of us were patiently waiting for 2020 with dreams and hopes. We had planned our graduations, career paths, travel plans, and family reunions, but those plans did not go anywhere this summer.

Expect the Unexpected
We never expected what was going to happen to us and the world. The vision of our plans started to fade away as the World Health Organization announced that each and every one of us is facing a global pandemic outbreak – the COVID 19. This announcement has taken a toll on us. Companies and schools are closed; the unemployment rate increased; the stock market crashed, and our plans headed straight in the same direction as everything else. We are living in a time of uncertainty where there are more questions than answers.

“When will we go back to normal? Is my family doing okay? How are my friends doing? What if I get affected? Will I able to finish my degree on time? How am I going to gain my experience? What if the economy crashed again?” I questioned myself every single day during these three months in lockdown, but there are still no answers. My friends lost their internships; my cousin got laid off from his job; my aunt’s store shut down, and my face-to-face college education experience became just another face-to-computer reading experience. Not only am I affected, but everyone else in this world.

Every Cloud Has A Silver Lining
A few weeks later, AIESEC US – the world’s largest youth-led and non-profit organization in the United States – and yes, the only club that I joined in school emailed me. “Together with AIESEC Life, we are launching our first-ever AIESEC Alumni Summer Internship Program for YOU, the members of AIESEC United States!” read the message from Ian Kawetschanky, President of AIESEC US.

There it is. Finally, my long-awaited opportunities arrive. It is noteworthy to mention these summer internships are exclusively for AIESEC members. Among those amazing opportunities, there was one that stood out the most. Global Minds Network – an international advisory firm that facilitates global innovation and multicultural collaboration in order to accelerate organizational performance and international market success. The Founder and Executive Director, Dr. Karina R. Jensen, is an AIESEC alumna from California State University – San Jose (SJSU).

This is absolutely perfect for me!! It is an organization that is focused on global innovation while promoting diversity and social action. This company is an ideal workplace for any active AIESEC members and alumni. Global Minds Network offered summer positions within global communication, innovation, planning, operations and outreach to their prospective interns.

Four international AIESEC members and student leaders from California State University – San Jose (SJSU), University of California – Los Angeles (UCLA), University of Georgia (UofGA), and City University of New York (CUNY) were offered to work at Global Minds Network. After our two kick-off sessions, I have to admit the projects are a bit challenging for college students who just have minimal experience. However, I do believe this will be a rewarding experience for me (and other interns) as we will get to learn from the projects and our thought leaders.

What I am most excited about when applying for this internship is the chance to put my classroom education into real-world practices. Because of this, I am sure that I will be able to learn and grow professionally from the thought leaders at Global Minds Network, who have years of comprehensive international experience, and my amazing colleagues, who are pleasant, reliable, and responsible.

Never Take Anything for Granted
I could not imagine how my summer or my fellow interns’ summer would turn out to be if this amazing internship was not on the table. With this internship, there are more answers to my questions, new directions for my future plan, and an air of expectancy for my dreams and hopes.

One thing that I am not ashamed to admit is that I take pride in my previous efforts and passionate commitment to AIESEC as a Vice President of Outgoing Global Volunteers at San Jose State University. I believe the student management and leadership positions held by my fellow summer interns and me have provided us with fruitful internship opportunities.

To be offered a position in such an amazing and talented organization such as Global Minds Network during a global pandemic, I can proudly say this is a rare and valuable moment for my career.

Even though the beginning of 2020 seemed difficult, the rest of 2020 might bring us something different. What I have learned during this global pandemic is to be much more conscious and to always look for a new direction in any uncertain circumstance. With my experience of living alone during the lockdown, I have to admit that I had a few mental breakdowns. Nevertheless, there were also times that I got to learn more about self-care, how to stay productive, and a time for self-reflection. However, nothing much has changed after the post COVID-19. I am still practicing my social distancing and continuing my remote study. The only thing that gets better is to work on amazing projects. After all, my summer this year is not going to waste and this is how my new version of life after the lockdown begins.

This is all because of AIESEC Life, AIESEC US and Global Minds Network. Thank you for collaborating and creating all of these amazing opportunities for me and my fellow summer interns.

Some Thoughts from the Interns

I am very excited for this internship! I think that it will allow me to learn and grow in ways I don’t know before and use my problem solving and critical thinking skills to help people all over the world and launch initiatives that are important and impactful!Abiseniya Lemma

I feel grateful that I was able to find an internship even in the middle of the Pandemic. I’m excited to be part of the Global Minds Network team, and I look forward to working with my thought leaders and learning from them. I am positive that this hands-on experience will not only be a memorable time of my life but will also be a valuable experience that will help me in my future career..Shuqing Li

I’m very excited to start this internship. I think it will be a challenging but rewarding experience to work on the projects I have been assigned this summer. I’m looking forward to working with the Global Minds Network thought leaders and the other interns and putting into practice the skills/knowledge I’ve gained over the past years in college. I feel very grateful to be part of the team this summer and for the opportunity to work for a company whose values align with mine.Stephanie Nascimento

It is such a great opportunity to be a part of the Global Minds Network. I am looking forward to learning from the thought leaders and other interns. Being able to work in such a company with an international perspective, I believe this is such an amazing experience that will help me to grow professionally in my future career. Manadé Sok Hean

Author: Manadé Sok Hean, Summer Intern – International Outreach & Operations, Global Minds Network




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *