Human Rights & Marketing Internship In Cape Town!
You guys actually care and wanted to make sure I was getting the experience I actually came here for and I don’t think I would have gotten that kind of service from another agency.
Meghan Pearson (USA)
Human Rights & Marketing Dual Internship
Meghan is a student from the USA. She attends Saint Joseph’s University and came for a nine week internship in July 2017. Her internship consisted of two areas of focus: Human Rights and Marketing. This is a transcription of Meghan’s end of internship debriefing.
Incredible Internship Abroad
Meghan’s Review from Go Abroad | July 11, 2017
Bridging Gaps exceeded my expectations time and time again. Without hesitation, I recommend them to anyone looking for a purposeful internship and an amazing living experience abroad.
I considered other placement companies but Bridging Gaps was the only company that not only listened, but sincerely cared about finding me the perfect internship and they succeeded! I absolutely LOVED my internship experience. I felt incredibly valued by the organization I interned at and gained unparalleled work experience that will actually help me land my dream job.
Not only was I able to gain valuable work experience abroad, the Bridging Gaps staff guaranteed I made the most of living abroad as well. Bridging Gaps fully prepared me before my arrival and made sure every question was answered. Their staff is dedicated to making sure every intern is safe and comfortable during their trip and works tirelessly to resolve even the smallest problem. They even offer weekend activities like kayaking with penguins and paragliding. I cannot say enough about how great Bridging Gaps really is. Thank you so much for an amazing summer!
Full Interview with Meghan
Meghan’s Thoughts About Her Internship
What type of internship experience were you initially looking for?
I was very inclined to work for an NGO but I wanted to include some kind of marketing into it, because that is what I am doing at school. (University) I was also really interested in human rights and international development.
How did your actual internship placement compare to your ideal internship experience?
Well the great thing about Regency is that they really focused on making sure I gained the experience I wanted and I was able to shape my internship to achieve what I wanted.
I was able to gain marketing experience because Regency’s main source of revenue is adverts and documentary type advertisement and I helped the production team.
Also their videos/documentaries are all focused on sustainable development and essentially helping people, which is one of my main interests.
Did you receive sufficient levels of supervision and guidance from your colleagues at your host organisation?
All the staff at Regency were really helpful, especially Jackie who is head of production and my boss in that department. She gave me great feedback and she always had lots for me to do.
They really liked my work so they would give me the feedback I needed and give me more tasks based on how well I was doing. I felt like I could go to any of my superiors for guidance and feedback.
Did taking part in your internship challenge you and help develop your skills?
Yes! I have always been interested in working at some kind of government or international agency focused on international development, human rights and humanitarian aid. As well as this I am also really interested in news media and production and so Regency was kind of perfect because they produce videos which cover all the topics I am interested in.
I was able to gain different experience and develop my skills in production. I got to see the nuts and bolts of things, behind the scenes and the non glorious parts of production. I also gained some project management experience which was great and now when I go back to the States, I will be doing more project management at my job there and hopefully including the marketing and productions skills I gained as well.
Overall do you feel that doing this international internship was a worthwhile experience which will help you achieve your career goals?
Yes I was really able to grow my portfolio I have tonnes of material now to put in there. I am also currently finishing up a video that I am kind of the creative director of.
My portfolio has tripled in size just in these two months which is amazing!
Do you feel that you were given the opportunity to make a valuable contribution to your local host organisation?
Yes and I definitely felt like they were really appreciative of all the work I did and gave me really helpful feedback. If they didn’t like something I did they would tell me and suggest another way of doing it- it was definitely a two way street. I felt incredibly valued at Regency!
I think in general a lot of NGOs struggle with efficiency because they don’t usually run like a business. I think having my business background really made a difference as I could use my experience and identify things within the organisation that could be standardized for example.
Meghan’s Thoughts About Cape Town
What fears did you have before coming to Cape Town with Bridging Gaps?
Well I knew Cape Town wasn't the safest place I could be going and honestly most of the people back home in the States were very concerned about me travelling to South Africa.
What do you think about those fears now?
You guys answered every question I had and I felt way more prepared than any of the other internship agencies I talked to. I think that because I felt prepared and knew how to be smart about safety, which you guys definitely helped me do so, I felt completely safe.
The most unsafe I felt was just crossing the street because of the drivers in Cape Town! When I go back home I am definitely going to say it is really not a dangerous place to visit as long as you are smart and aware of your surroundings.
After spending some time in the city, what is your impression of Cape Town?
Being down town Cape Town feels like any other big city- it could be in the US. When crossing the street, walking around and taking the bus it feels like any other city around the world. The only times I was like oh yeh I am actually in Cape Town was when I would go out and see the scenery and look up and see a giant, beautiful mountain! It really felt very metropolitan and not much of a foreign place which made it easy to settle in.
After just 9 weeks I feel like I live here now!
Would you recommend Cape Town as a worthwhile/enjoyable place to visit?
Yes definitely!! Whether it is to come here to work or just to come here for vacation, for sure I would recommend it!
But, you would have to come for at least 2 weeks because there is way too much to do!
Meghan’s Thoughts About Bridging Gaps’ Service
Did Bridging Gaps help you prepare for your trip sufficiently?
Yes I felt completely prepared! When I left the States I did not doubt what I was getting myself into at all. I wasn’t nervous at all either- I was excited!
How was your experience of Bridging Gaps while you were on the ground in Cape Town?
You guys were amazing- incredibly responsive and so prompt with everything!
What was the best feature of the Bridging Gaps service?
I think the preparation before I travelled to Cape Town was great, but also just placing me in the internship itself. I could not have asked for a better placement!
You guys actually care and wanted to make sure I was getting the experience I actually came here for and I don’t think I would have gotten that kind of service from another agency. I think I would have just been another intern, another cheque.
I really felt like you guys were invested in me getting the best experience I could.
Would you recommend pursing an internship in Cape Town with Bridging Gaps to other people?
Yes! Without hesitation… and I will!
In what ways could our internship programmes be improved?
Honestly I wish I could give you some constructive feedback but… you’ve just been great!
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