Shantel Beute

My experience might have differed from others in the beginning of my internship in Belize. I was set to intern at a national women’s non-profit organization and had done research on them and some of their pressing initiatives. It was three days before I was scheduled to depart Canada when I was told that there was an internal issue with the organization and that I would not be able to move forward with those plans. My supervisors assured me that there was plenty of opportunity elsewhere with my specific interests in mind and that within the next day or so, I would have a place.

Though I was disappointed to not be working with this organization, I was very confident that my supervisors would come through on their promise. Within that short time, an internship was organized for me.

I had worked under the Belize City Council, analyzing the needs of women in the city and organizing a female-staff survey. I was happy to have the freedom to research women’s issues in Belize, meet several heads of government departments, as well as directors of large organizations.

I had also had a chance to work under the National Association of Village Councils and Belize Institute for Local Development on a project analyzing women’s groups in rural villages. I was able to commit to researching and travelling by my own schedule, meet with many different, fascinating women, and foster some important relationships across Belize.

At every stage, the support from my supervisors was phenomenal. They were available at all times to ask questions, give advice, and were very knowledgeable on all aspects of my internship. From this experience, I have gained a valuable understanding in working in many different situations as well as having refined many skills needed to work in the field of non-profit work and research. Of course, I would highly recommend the Global Studies Internship program. Having the opportunity to put your skills into action in a field which you are passionate about is absolutely essential in preparing you for professional work and interactions, abroad placements, and future studies.