My first week – June 8th

Week 1 blog: internship at caribsave

Caribsave
Caribsave
the office
the office

My name is Sherish and I am a water concentration student with an interest in ecotourism. I decided to do my 7 week internship at the CARIBSAVE partnership headquartered in Barbados. There are other CARIBSAVE locations in other islands such as Jamaica, and the grandfather of them all is located in the UK. This nonprofit organization focuses on climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies to ensure Caribbean communities become more resilient to climate change whilst switching to more sustainable practices. One of the projects I am analyzing is called Climate Change, Coastal Community Enterprises: Adaptation, Resilience and Knowledge (C-ARK). This particular project consists of four major components that are used to aide Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME’s) in four sectors (tourism, crafts, fisheries and agriculture) adapt more sustainable business practices while adapting to the negative impacts of climate change. These sectors were chosen because they are the most susceptible to climate change and are already experiencing and suffering from a financial and livelihood stand point. This is an ongoing project and unfortunately my internship is not long enough to see its completion so I will focus my report on component 1 which is completed and a part of component 3 as component 3 heavily relates to component 1. The complete project is very detailed and I can see why it takes about two years to complete a project.  Either way I was very excited to be a part of it and learn all that I can about it, and I am grateful to be selected as an intern as it is slightly competitive here in the island. There are so many projects and activities going on in each component that it would take me a few months to understand everything furthermore analyze the feasibility of it from a sustainable perspective. However my first full week here proved to be very different from what I expected unfortunately. I am highly hopeful that the weeks ahead prove to be different since this is just the ‘ice breaker’. Instead of rambling on I decided to break down my first week in  pros and what I learned about myself since starting here.

PROS:

  • My own office space (desk, chair ect)
  • All of the project officers are friendly and the office has a warm and calm atmosphere
  • They didn’t make me feel like a ‘intern’ I felt like one of them
  • They are highly interested in my 50 page report and the 20 page proposal I let them read. They are fully committed to answering any questions and providing documents to help me complete the report although there are many restrictions on some of the information I can use.
  • They explained how to efficiently write a report, a case study and even gave me brilliant ideas for my project that I would have never thought of. They are fully committed to helping me learn how to complete this report as I have never done anything of this magnitude before.
  • I have set schedule of coming in Monday through Friday 8:30 to 4:30 with an hour lunch break.
  • The first half of the day flies by fast, especially when ‘clients’ come in with inquires and I get to over hear the conversations.
  • I love reading the application forms that I have to input in the computer that persons involved in the projects bring in, I get to learn a lot about the average Barbadian and their livelihood.
  • The documents and reports I have to read provide a excellent roadmap for how I should write my report.
  • we hold weekly meetings in a conference room about my 50 page report that’s due
  • I am in my home country Barbados, I can look out the window and see monkeys, palm trees and the beautiful sky.

what I have learned about myself since starting:

  • Although this is week one I realized that ‘office work’ isn’t really my thing. I need to interact with people more. But in order to get to the people portion you have to do the foundational work such as reading , writing and researching. But I learned that when I am looking for a job I should look for one  that has a mix of indoor and outdoor assignments and more community involved. So I am glad this internship helped me learn my likes and dislikes about the ‘office community’
  • I found it strange yet fascinating that the project officers and managers communicate to each other via Skype ( chatting). This way it doesn’t disrupt them so much as it reduces the noise level of shouting across the room or disrupting them for a long period from doing their work. Somehow i still find my self picking up my laptop and walking over to their desk to ask questions, ill get the hang of the skype thing soon.
  • I spent most of my first week reading hundreds of pages of documents  pertaining to the project I am basing my report on.  I am amazed and proud of myself that I was able to sit down and read  two or three sixty page documents without falling asleep.
  • I learned to ask a ‘directed’ open ended question instead of my usually simple closed ended questions. for example, when I am going to ask any of the project officers  a question, I need to formulate it first, meaning it needs to be structured and have a strong reasoning for it being asked. I say this  because the officers are so inquisitive, they will ask me questions about my question, that would lead me to an entirely different question which I think is cool .
  • csave logo

7 Comments

  1. Thank you for your insights. I like that you listed pros and cons. I think many interns are facing similar conditions. Good luck!

    1. i think its just the first week or two, every one has to adjust to each other, or have a set plan , but it never happens that way.

  2. I agree- I think it’s a hard transition for both students and the working situation we come into. Interns always seems like a great idea, but we, unfortunately, need a more guidance that an operating office can handle at first. I know for my internship, it wasn’t quite clear until I got here, what the plan was. It’s still fluid, but now I have realized that I am very able to design it the way I want it. I, like you, prefer working with people, brainstorming, talking about the plans and how to achieve them and then putting it into action. But, I suppose in order to be ‘actors’ we need to learn the script. And that means Research. Studying. Reading. Listening. All that boring stuff 😉 hang in there! Lot of good stuff, with a good, developed company. Your role and activities should be defined soon.
    Interesting blog! thanks for sharing!

  3. Totally agree!!!

    I can’t believe our internship experience so far looks super same!!!

    So do not feel any negative cause I am here with you!!! (Readings, computers everyday)

    Cheers for us!!!

    We will find out and discover some new things, together !!!

    Xiaomin

  4. Great Post Sherish! Would love to see those monkeys outside your window! I totally know how you feel about the readings. Really like your idea of listing the pros and cons. Hang in there Im sure once you get into the thick of your internship you’re going to love it. Cant imagine how good it must feel to be home! Take some pictures of the surrounding area! I’m sure its beautiful

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