Two weeks ago Luis R. Sosa Santiago anxiously uploaded his application for The Intern Group 2015 scholarship that would cover costs of a 6-week internship in Medellín, Colombia. The senior at Seton Hall University in South Orange, New Jersey is studying both Diplomacy and International Relations and Latin American studies. Hoping to someday work with Corporate Social Responsibility in Latin America, Luis thought an internship in Colombia would be a wise step forward in his career.
Luis had no reason to be nervous. On Tuesday, The Intern Group broke the news that he had won the company’s first ever scholarship. His initial reaction? Click here to see for yourself.
TIG: You’re the TIG 2015 scholarship winner! How do you feel?
Luis: The feeling of achieving this goal is so rewarding! I cannot articulate enough how anxious I was all along until I received the news… I had been in constant anxiety from the second I uploaded my Youtube video and submitted my application. I was always worried about the number of views and likes that the topic became central to my life for the three weeks or so that followed. In fact, I would arrive home and my parents would ask me if the numbers had gone up!
Moreover, I feel so proud of all the people that supported me. So many people assumed this challenge as if it were their own and made it personal. That definitely makes me feel the love and support of a great community. So, it is fair to say that this award is not just mine but of all the people that viewed, liked, and shared my video. But most importantly, this award belongs to all the people that believed in me and always encouraged me. This scholarship has brought joy and pride to a whole community!
TIG: What interests you about the Colombia internship program?
Luis: I am interested in the market diversity Colombia has to offer. The number of products and services that form the market and what they represent in terms of economic contributions, are characteristics particularly appealing to me. In addition, the presence of multinational corporations in Colombia is by all means the most attractive thing to me. And of course, Colombia’s vibrant culture!
TIG: How will the experience abroad prepare you for your career?
Luis: Since I want to work in the field of Corporate Social Responsibility as it pertains to multinational corporations throughout Latin America, this opportunity would allow me to gain hands-on experience. This experience would enrich my knowledge about this field and allow me to make a more informed and specific professional choice.
TIG: What sparked your interest in Latin America?
Luis: I am a Latino immigrant (Dominican), so the fact that I could enrich my Latino experience through an academic program definitely had some influence in my choice to study Latin America. Also, the region is such a melting pot of cultures that the opportunities to discover, grow and learn are endless.
TIG: Why do you think interning abroad is a valuable life experience?
Luis: We grow by getting in contact with the unknown. When we are in an unfamiliar scenario we are forced to interact with other things and other people that may or may not be anything like the ones we are used to. Hopefully, for my own benefit, there will be a lot of different things in Colombia.