» ADVICE FOR A SUCCESSFUL INTERNSHIP EXPERIENCE

Patience is key.  Sometimes frustrations arise while the intern is  trying to adapt to the culture and language.   Interns often have trouble adjusting to the casual work environment and a more relaxed concept of time.  These early frustrations  make many interns feel like they want to quit, but it is important that interns are patient and give themselves time to adjust to their work environment.   

Keep a positive attitude. It is also important to remember that the social, economic and environmental problems of Nicaragua are deep-rooted and not easily resolved.  Some interns may feel frustrated by a lack of progress or feel that they are not doing anything to make a difference.  Remember, the project you carry out is often one requested or needed by the organization  and will help to meet their overall goals.  Every little bit helps, and what is left behind will have a long-lasting impact on the organization and their efforts. Often times the day-to-day sharing of ideas and experiences has a profound impact on the intern and the people that work in the organization.    Keeping this in mind will help to maintain a positive attitude and to accomplish your goals and the goals of your host organization. 

Be independent and take initiative.  Many of the organizations we work
with do not have a lot of resources and may not provide constant guidance and support.   For this reason, Viva Nicaragua! staff provides continued support to the intern throughout the internship experience.   We work with the intern to design a concrete project that can be carried out in a specific time frame. Many times this project must be carried out with what seems to be little support from the host organization.  Remember, this is not because your work is not valued by the host organization.   Your work is important because you are contributing something that  the organization itself does not have the time or resources to do   It is critical that interns are able to work independently, are motivated, pro-active,  have a positive attitude, work well with minimal supervision, and have a lot of initiative.

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