Current students are starting their internship searches and our alumni are on board to offer them the advice based on personal experience. Alumnus Ana Kelli Albano, a Brazilian student who studied project management at Edmonds Community College, was participant in the Northwest Community College Initiative (NWCCI) program in 2013-2014. Here she shares what she learned from her internship at a Bellevue-based project management company, AdaQuest, and offers advice for current students seeking an internship. You can also read her previous blog post here.
Since the beginning of the NWCCI program, I always had a goal to work for a private company in the US, because in my opinion it would provide me more chances to interact with different people in my professional area, learn more about how American people work and increase my network.
Then, I started to seek out companies where I could apply my skills working on projects. I sent my resume to several companies and finally, I got an interview for a Bellevue-based company, AdaQuest which manages projects for organizations such as Microsoft, Amazon and Disney. There, I worked as a Project Manager Assistant, reporting directly to the Marketing Director. I was in charge of the schedule management of the project, visiting some clients with my supervisor, organizing an event to receive all customers and listen their comments, and listing action points that could be good opportunities for my department to improve the quality of service offered.
My internship was pretty quick, just a month; however it was really intense in terms of learning. I had the opportunity to visit Microsoft and participate in a meeting to define the points of improvement of the project. One of the activities that I liked most was the chance to interview the CEO of AdaQuest to listen his plans to increase their business.
Finally, 60 hours gave me the opportunity to meet excellent professionals in the US, learn much more than I expected and receive reference letter from my boss, which made a big difference when I looked for a job in Brazil. Nowadays, I work for an American company in Brazil, as a competitive intelligence and marketing assistant.
As a NWCCI alumnus, I would like to share what happened with me and tell the students that they can go beyond the space that is near them. Do not feel limited just looking for places that are close to you, think about what can give a good experience. In your job, do not behave as a student, but as a professional. It will show maturity and open up opportunities in the US.
My best regards for all the NWCCI students of 2014-2015 and I wish for all of you success during your internship! Take it as the unique opportunity in your life!
The NWCCI program is part of the Community College Initiative, an exchange program sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.