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Alex McDonald Profile

Alex McDonald's Internship Abroad Experience

Alex McDonald Internship Abroad

"Working outside of the classroom allowed me to form relationships in an active environment and with people that currently hold positions I aspire to hold in the future."

Your Name: Alex McDonald

Your Major (s): Political Science: International Relations & Comparative Politics

Your Minor (s): Central and Southwest Asian Studies

Faculty Advisor: Dean McCusick

How did you get connected with this academic enrichment opportunity and was there someone who helped you get involved with this opportunity?
I got involved with IE3 first when I saw a poster on campus advertising international internships; I followed up with an informational meeting hosted by IE3 and the director on campus, Kevin Hood. I later met with Kevin Hood and worked through the application process and choosing the right internship he also kept me in contact with the directors of IE3 once accepted and prior to departure to ensure I was ready to leave and had clearance from the University.

What was the most rewarding part of this experience?
The most rewarding part of participating in an internship abroad is getting real life experience in the field I plan to pursue after graduation while at the same time earning college credit. I was able to experience another culture and fully immerse myself in it and discover a new and exciting way of life. I also greatly expanded my knowledge in the structure and everyday happenings of International Non-Governmental Organizations.

What surprised you during this experience?
I was surprised by how much freedom I had to tailor my experience to my interests, even though it was a university program. I was given the opportunity to shape my own internship according to my needs and interests and given the freedom to explore a new country for myself.

What doors did participation in this experience open for you?
By working for a foreign international company I made connections both personal and professional abroad, that will serve me post graduation. Working outside of the classroom allowed me to form relationships in an active environment and with people that currently hold positions I aspire to hold in the future, that I would not have been able to without this program.

How has participating in this academic enrichment experience affected you as a person and as a student?
By participating in an international internship I reaffirmed my desire to travel and work internationally. My internship enhanced my level of knowledge as a student and has allowed me to pursue more research on the areas in which I worked during my internship such as human rights and refugees within the classroom. The internship also helped me to tailor my professional goals according the projects I enjoyed or did not enjoy throughout my internship.

Do you have a one-sentence expression or description of what participating in this experience means to you?
My internship was one of the most challenging times of my life that required me to step out of my comfort zone in order to be successful, but it was also the most rewarding and life changing experience that I have accomplished and I will continue to utilize it for years to come.