Journey, trip or an internship?
By: Vandamme M. Artadi
Xu –DevCom Intern

Every human being in this world has his or her own individuality and s/he has his or her own way of living. However, in today's competitive world, only the ones that can distinguish themselves from this broad and general category are the highly successful ones. And any person, who has the ability to be very patient, is hard working and has enough self-motivation, is also most likely to be the highly successful.

First and foremost this experience has affected me in ways I did not foresee. As with most experiences in life, things do not usually go as planned, but sometimes these unplanned experiences leave you with something good and worth-while things (and often better than what you had anticipated) to ponder. At first I was slightly frustrated and disappointed that the mandate and working conditions would not be that of what I had expected (those of which the interns before me had and of which I thought I had signed up for), but over the past two (almost) months I can see that in many ways this discrepancy has turned into a wonderful and unique experience which has opened my eyes to new opportunities and positively changed my ambitions for the future.

Working with the Coalition for Better Education (CBE) taught me so many things not just an Intern but more importantly as an individual. CBE has been advocating for human rights through quality education. It is funny how sometimes just what you were looking for all along was actually lying right in front of you the whole time, yet it takes a certain something to help you see it in a new light.

On a slightly contradictory note, my experience here has also shown me that I do not need a big fancy Bachelors or Master's degree to make a difference. Sometimes with all of the complicated and complex information about the world and all its set-backs that university courses throw at you, it can feel like you need super powers to make a change in the world. We've all heard the sayings “one person can make a difference” or “anyone can make a difference,” but this does not always feel as easy to do as it is to say. It doesn't take someone with special training, a certificate or a fabulously brand new spectacular idea to make real change. The people here just get up and do it; they don't let doubts in their abilities or worries about failing cause hesitation. I don't know that they ever even think of this at all to be honest. If they have an idea (no matter how simple) that they think could have a positive impact they just go with it. They have confidence in their ideas and that is it all takes; confidence, initiative and perseverance. This has truly convinced me that anyone can make a difference. It really isn't that hard, and you don't have to dedicate enormous effort and income to it; the most important step is just to try. And that is exactly what I am going to start doing more after graduating from college. Now, to avoid the risk of sounding like a cliché broken record I will move on to my next point.

I am going to contradict myself once again by saying that my CBE experience has actually really helped me during this internship. It is not so much the crystallized knowledge that I have attained, but more so it is the perspective lens through which I see the world, the aptitude for independent initiative, and the critical analysis and problem solving skills that I have developed through my studies which has helped me here. Thanks to CBE I have been prepped in receiving big projects with hardly any instructions, where you just have to “figure it out on your own.” I have learned to be comfortable in doing intimidating and overwhelming tasks and take them in strides without getting stressed or losing confidence. CBE has taught me how to find quality solutions to a seemingly hopeless assignment or situation. And I am honestly not just saying all this for a grade or because it might be what the university want to read. This internship really has significantly contributed to revealing how valuable my course has been for both my personal and professional development.

Thank you CBE!



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