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Becca (front, center) and her Koideas colleagues.

I spent my past summer down in South America, interning for a Colombian company, Koideas, that specializes in knowledge management through the creation of virtual content. As the Community Manager, I managed our digital presence, focusing mainly on the social media channels. I had previously studied in Peru, which sparked my interest in gaining professional experience abroad. I did in-depth research on various international internship programs before deciding on my program, The Intern Group. I went through several interviews before I was accepted into the program and then placed with Koideas.

I began my internship with thorough research about our own social media channels, the norms within the industry, and the digital presence of other e-learning companies. Then, I created a detailed plan of content and strategy for our social media channels. During the last part of my internship, I executed that plan, creating and scheduling posts, while also running analytics on our progress. Moreover, I attended various international conferences regarding e-learning and entrepreneurship.

The independence that my supervisors provided along with the high expectations that they held for me allowed for an environment full of opportunities. I learned something new every day, whether it was new Spanish vocabulary, how to design an e-learning course, or discovering advanced features of social media platforms. One of the most important takeaways from my internship was my own growth and self-discovery. During my two months, I was forced to step outside of my comfort zone to meet new people, improve my language skills, and explore an unfamiliar country. However, this initial discomfort eventually allowed me to discover a very clear path, both personally and for my career. I confirmed my passion to work in South America and also in a career that not only matches my skill set, but pushes me to grow and learn everyday. However, perhaps the most important aspect of my internship was the different relationships that I formed. The people that I was so nervous to meet on the first day became some of my best friends. More than just networking and professional connections, I know that I can always rely on the passionate, hard-working, and welcoming people from the company that I am blessed to call my second home, Koideas.

Becca Smith is a rising senior, double majoring in Communication Studies and Spanish within the School of Communication. She will graduate in 2017 and will pursue a career in international public relations. As a 2016 SIGP grant recipient, this past summer she interned with Koideas, an e-learning company in Medellín, Colombia.