I will be interning for the nonprofit DiscoverHope Fund, a microcredit organization that “provides an opportunity for women in poverty to create their own prosperity through microcredit, entrepreneurship and training” (http://discoverhopefund.org/). I will live and work in Cajamarca, Peru, a small town in the Andean mountains. My internship responsibilities will include: supporting the development of women’s business plans, helping coordinate the community center’s classes for women, facilitating leadership workshops, interviewing women, and creating a site management manual.
This summer I hope to gain a better sense of what it’s like to manage development programs abroad. I also hope to learn more about the realities of the lives of the poor in developing countries. As I learn what skills and knowledge are most needed in the field of international development, I will be able to better focus my studies upon my return to LBJ, and learn the skills I need to become an effective advocate for pro-poor economic policies. I also believe that getting to know the women that DiscoverHope Fund serves will inspire me to continue my studies at LBJ with a renewed vigor.
This internship will further my career goals because I will gain field experience working in a developing country (a necessity for anyone interested in international development work). The skills and knowledge I will accumulate this summer will make me a more competitive candidate for jobs in international development organizations. After graduation, I hope to spend several years working in Latin America for a development-oriented NGO, and then return to the U.S. to work for a global nonprofit that engages in economic development policy and advocacy.