The Northwest CCI program is a unique exchange program in many ways. It is not designed as a degree program, and allows only for 10 months of study in the United States. But the skills that are acquired in that short time become invaluable for these students who often otherwise would not have access to such opportunities. The NWCCI is geared towards allowing participants access to critical skills that they can take back with them to their home countries while providing for a cultural exchange between Americans and the NWCCI participants. Participants seek out their 60 hour un-paid internships, which allow them to gain practical experience in a working environment to help prepare them for work in their field back home. They gain more confidence in their business English skills and areas of specialization. John Joel is a NWCCI participant from India who studied at Whatcom Community College, and here explains some of the skill he was able to learn during his time on the NWCCI program.
I completed my internship at a non-profit organization called The Opportunity Council. The organization provides funds for those in need, and helps the less fortunate and homeless. I’m glad that I had a chance to do my internship at a non-profit organization. The work culture in the United States is different from my country; I thought it would be tough to work with Americans, and I am new to the work world, but it was not as tough as I thought.
“In my internship I learned so much. Not only have I learned the things from my field of study but I also learned life skills. I have learned how to communicate professionally in an office environment, how to work with fellow employees, and how to better communicate with others.”
The skills that I have learned here in the United States will be great to apply in my home county. In fact, while I began working on Mac computers at my internship; it was my very first time! I was bit nervous when I began working on the Mac server for the first time. I was creating and adding employee accounts I was nervous that I might make a mistake that would mess up the employee accounts on the server. But my supervisor encouraged me, and told me that if I make a mistake, we need not worry as it could be changed easily. He encouraged me and said that it is okay to make mistakes. I was slow at the beginning but after creating and adding a few accounts I caught up to speed and was able to finish it.
“In my field of study I had to deal with technical problems; specifically, how to precisely analyze the problem, find out what is wrong with the system, and figure out the effective and least time consuming way to execute a solution to the problem.”
In the work world, time is money and everyone’s time is very important and valuable. I learned trouble-shooting, but not just how to troubleshoot, but the way to most effectively trouble shoot. My supervisor at my internship was very supportive and anything I had a problem with, like understanding, he explained to me in such a way that I could understand. He was very patient with me, which helped me to relax and understand that I had him backing me with his full support.
One of the most important things I have learned is to ask questions, no matter if the question is simple or complicated.
I also learned that to be successful in the IT industry, I must frequently update my knowledge of the current technologies; otherwise I’ll be left behind!
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. The opinions expressed in this blog by writers and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions of the Northwest Community College Initiative program, Edmonds Community College, Whatcom Community College, Pierce College, the United States Department of State or any employee thereof. NWCCI and Edmonds Community College are not responsible for the accuracy of the information supplied by the students or bloggers.