CCD: Tell us about your experience. What were your responsibilities?
Pengying: During this internship, I completed some administrative office work, organized and edited the fellows’ profiles, worked on the program booklets, wrote proposals with other corporations, answered the phone calls and replied to emails. My responsibilities strengthened the communication between the fellows and the program, assisting with the administrative tasks while proposing creative and useful ideas to the program.
CCD: How did you find the position?
Pengying: I found this internship opportunity in an email that the Pardee School of Global Studies sent me. Then I applied to the internship online, answered short-answer questions, and uploaded my resume and activity lists. I was then interviewed by the internship leaders.
CCD: What are the top 3 skills you’ve learned from this experience?
Pengying: In this BU Humphrey Fellowship internship, I improved my communication skills (both spoken and written) and management abilities. When I worked on my tasks, I needed to constantly communicate with the directors, internship leaders, and my colleagues about the ideas related to the projects. Even though English is my second language, I am more comfortable and professional when presenting and discussing my ideas in front of people because of the encouragement and practice that I received. Also, I learned how to think thoroughly while writing new documents and handling tasks. For example, when I worked on the orientation booklets, I thought about what fellows need in this new environment, similar to when I first came to the United States. I enhanced my management abilities by being well-organized about my tasks and the amount of time that I had to complete them efficiently every day.
CCD: What advice would you give to another student about making the most of a summer experience?
Pengying: The advice I would give to another student is to be active and responsible with your work. During an internship, don’t be shy about asking questions to make sure you understand your tasks, since your work is important to the office. Even though there will be new tasks, you should ask for feedback from your colleagues or supervisors. It allows you to learn new skills and know more about yourself, which will help you in the future. For example, after I took professional photos for the first time, my director gave me many useful suggestions about how I should shoot more professionally and where should I lock the focus, which really inspired my interest in photography.
CCD: What are the benefits of the type of summer experience you did?
Pengying: Since my major is international relations, this internship really gave me insight about my career direction. I am more confident about my professional ability and organizational skills after this internship. I still remembered how nervous I was when I picked up the first phone call in the office. But after practicing, I gained experience and I was competent in the tasks I did. Also, I learned my strengths and weaknesses and I will continue work on them. Since our fellows are from different countries, such as Egypt, Morocco, or Pakistan, I understand more about other countries’ cultures as well as networking with people in different areas.