In March, the Patricelli Center for Social Entrepreneurship awarded internship grants to Wesleyan students planning to spend their summers pursuing experiences in diverse fields of social change. Each grant recipient was asked to report back on his/her work with blog posts and photos. Here’s one, a report from William Curran-Groome ’14, a Government major who spent his summer at the INJAZ Al-Arab Regional Office in Amman, Jordan. Read other PCSE grant recipient blog posts here.
I interned with the INJAZ Special Projects Manager for the duration of the summer. Her responsibilities include: developing new partnerships with related organizations and businesses; managing online initiatives such as student business competitions and the redesign and organization of the corporate website; handling INJAZ’s policy partnership with the Arab League and the World Bank, targeted at mainstreaming entrepreneurship education in the MENA region; and oversight of in-house design projects. My primary functions were to assist her with project management; to draft communications on her behalf; to proofread and write content for proposals and copy for in-house publications; to provide background research on related areas of knowledge to further inform our search for potential new projects and partnerships; to articulate, both in writing and verbally, assessments of those new projects; to assist in designing and editing promotional materials, info graphics, and the corporate website layout; and to document the process the organization undertook to collect bids for contracts, as well as justification for the eventual decision on funding allocation.
In sum, it was an exceedingly worthwhile experience that allowed me to practice and improve upon skills I already have (academic research, proofreading and editing, writing) as well as develop completely new competencies (graphic design is something I’ve never even considered before, given my dearth of artistic talent, but I not only enjoyed the design that I learned about, but it gave me the opportunity to materialize concepts that I would otherwise have been unable to communicate to others). Working a 9-5 was itself a valuable experience, and seeing firsthand the challenges and benefits of working in bilingual office – along with the unique constraints of Arab business culture (e.g. a pervasive disrespect for planning, scheduling, and time commitments) – all helped to shape my awareness of what a future job in the region might entail and require.