Internships enrich study away
February 26, 2015
For CAS junior Sabine Teyssier, interning was an integral part of the experience of studying away in Accra, Ghana. Teyssier worked with two different organizations that allowed her to explore her interest in international development.
“Due to the fact that I understand international development to be such a vast issue — people target it with a bunch of different mechanisms — I wanted to make sure my experience was diversified,” Teyssier said. “I wanted insight into the Guinean perspective”
One of Teyssier’s internships was with a local microfinance agency called Open Heart Solution Agency.
“I worked with a bunch of women in Ghanaian markets,” Teyssier said. “They typically sell tomatoes, soap, things of that nature. I first just wanted to learn what their needs were. My supervisor challenged me to come up with different loan schemes that were sustainable and cost-effective.”
Teyssier also spent time interning with Hello Food, an international tech startup similar to Seamless.
While initially it seemed working with a tech startup would be outside her area of interest, Teyssier said the internship allowed her to reflect on the type work she was interested in doing.
“It was interesting to me because it wasn’t exactly what I wanted to be doing,” Teyssier said. “At first it sounded really interesting but then I soon realized the end goal was to make a profit. But it allowed me to critically reflect on what development means — just about having access to technological inventions that we take advantage of in Western countries.”
Teyssier said interning was a way to immerse herself in the country and culture while learning about the field of international development.
“I think it was an integral part of my experience,” Teyssier said. “The way that foreigners work in a developing country was another dynamic, and it put me in contact with people I would have otherwise not had access to. It definitely made my study abroad experience realistic and taught me about what I might want to do in the future.”