My father is Colombian. He moved to Venezuela in 1974 when he was only 17 years old. When I was growing up, I always came to Medellín to visit his family. This connection with the city, my roots and my family made me decide in 2011, “I will live here one day”. That’s where my internship abroad adventure began.
In 2014 it was time to start looking for my internship abroad because it was a requirement for my degree. I was sure that I wanted to do it in Medellín. That’s how I discovered The Intern Group. I was accepted onto the program to do an internship with the government in Antioquia. It was everything I could ever have dreamed of. I was going to live in the city that I loved, doing what I always dreamed of doing – working for the government.
When my internship abroad was about to finish I started looking for a job. The Intern Group appeared as an option, and I thought “what better way to stay in the city that I love, than to stay here and make others fall in love with it too”. Here are the 7 main reasons why I decided to work with The Intern Group after doing their program.
1) Colombian culture
One of the things that made me feel at home was Colombian culture. Colombians are warm and kind and are always willing to help others. When I was interning, all of my coworkers wanted to know about my history. They heard me, they wanted to show me places, share their traditions with me, even the slang. I always felt welcome, I was almost a “paisa”. I didn’t want to leave.
2) The beautiful city
Medellín really is “the city of eternal spring”. This city has something for everyone. You can find any kind of activity, from rock climbing to jazz concerts in the middle of the streets. It’s true what they say, “if you get bored in Medellín, it’s your own fault”.
3) To show others the real Colombia
When I say Colombia now, it means something very different to what it meant 20 years ago. There are a lot of misconceptions about Colombia, and especially Medellín. What does the world hear when you talk about these places? This city has overcome many things that have made it more beautiful, more vibrant and more alive than ever. I believe in the transformation of Colombia. I believe this is a place to grow, create and evolve. In Colombia everything is possible. Wandering is the only way to find yourself, and there’s no better place to do it than in a tropical paradise.
4) Professional experience
When I was an intern with the government of Antioquia, I had the opportunity to create a project that could potentially transform the way of collecting land taxes. I discussed the project with the Cadaster director, I had meetings with the Secretary of Departmental Planning, I met the mayors of the main cities where the project was going to take place. In a nutshell, I was able to apply all of the theory and knowledge that I acquired throughout my 5 years of college. I felt like a professional and I was treated like one. The lessons and connections I made then are something I will always treasure. I wanted to continue to grow professionally and I knew The Intern Group was a great place for that.
5) Support others in the pursuit of their dreams
When I look back at all of the things that I learned when I was an intern, I realize that all I ever dreamed of came true. I was able to really impact the community, make a difference, help others and make tax collection more efficient. Being able to be so happy by doing what you’ve always wanted to do is something I want to see in others. Inspiring others and witnessing how their lives change thanks to having this kind of experience is something that moves me. I wanted to work in a place where I could continue to make the world better, and The Intern Group is the perfect place for that.
6) Help to create a global generation
I believe that the ability to recognize difference in others, accept this difference and celebrate it is what makes the world a better place. That is The Intern Group’s vision. I share that vision. Being able to meet people from all over the world and share their culture while you discover a new one is really inspiring and makes you value and treasure what you have. Understanding others is what will help us to make better decisions in the future. It is the key to creating a more tolerant society.
7) Make others fall in love with Colombia
I fell in love with Colombia. I discovered myself here, being away from home, taking a new route to work everyday, hearing the beautiful accent from the locals, tasting the food, enjoying the music. There’s no better way to embrace this discovery than to share it with others. All of these landscapes and this history, I feel them like I feel my own. Everyone that comes to Medellín leaves as a Paisa. I want others to be Paisas too.
My internship abroad changed my life, apply today to change yours.
Photo 1. by Erika Londoño.
Photo 2. by Erika Londoño.
Photo 3. by Erika Londoño.