Sara Cronan

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Who are you?

Sara Cronan, Junior, Applied Languages and Intercultural Studies

Who is your employer?

Manna Project International
Sangolqui, Ecuador

How did you learn about your internship?

I found this position with Manna Project on CareerBuzz! It seemed like a good first place to look for an internship, although I wasn't expecting to find something so perfect for a liberal arts person like me. Actually, I can see now that this internship would be amazing for anyone of any major interested in public health, English, community development, or business development.

What was the application process like?

Sweet and simple! There is an online submission with a few essays, then a skype interview a couple weeks later. Make sure to tell them what you're really passionate about!

What were your major tasks or projects at this internship?

I worked in their English branch for the most part, although there are several branches to focus your work in. My primary tasks were teaching a basic preschool English class, two intermediate middle school classes, and an advanced English conversation class to adults at the local UN Peacekeepers' base. I made lesson plans and class/at home activities corresponding to each level, and got to spark my students' interest in language.

Do you have any recommendations for Georgia Tech students looking to intern in the same company or country?

If you're looking for a great summer with a balance between professional experience and travel experience, this is for you! My biggest recommendation is to apply for the 8-week internship. Four weeks there just isn't enough time! It takes about that much time just to get adjusted to the area and start to form meaningful relationships with community members.

Where did you live? Did you find accomodations independently or with your company's help?

I lived in a residential neighborhood in Los Chillos valley. I didn't have to look for my own accommodations thankfully because MPI has an employee live-work community house. It's a big 3 story house with lots of rooms, a hammock on the roof, and bookshelves full to the brim on each landing of the staircase. It housed 16 people comfortably while I was there, and I got really close with the other interns/program directors. We all took turns cooking family style dinners with fresh Ecuadorean produce.

How has this internship influenced your career path?

This internship helped me solidify my love for international development. I can't imagine working for something not involving Spanish or Latin America after this.

If paid, did the company you worked for pay you enough to live off of your salary or stipend, or did you have to supplement your income with personal funds?

This internship is not paid, but if you're passionate about the work it doesn't matter that much. Actually, it's a perfect way to travel in South America for cheap. I got to travel every weekend to places like the Amazon Rainforest and active volcanoes. I was immersed in a community that renewed my perspective on life, and got to help do hands on ground work.