In the new year I will be interning in Nepal, an experience I have yet to have and one I’ve never been so excited for. I am currently in my last year of my undergraduate degree at the University of Ottawa, studying International Development and Globalization. This internship will be for my final semester as I will be graduating in April 2013 – and what better way to finish off my degree than travelling to an amazing country like Nepal. I love to hike, travel, eat amazing food, and…play tennis!
I will be interning at the Makwanpur District Milk Producers’ Cooperative Union (MDMPCU) for the Winter 2013 semester. For those that know me, many were shocked to hear – milk producers? Farms? Mud and cow manure? But in fact, my past experiences has taught me that the agricultural and livestock sector within developing countries is often the most important – so why not get first hand experience learning about just that!
Currently I am working (through the co-op program with my degree) at the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), where I work studying and advising on different ways of promoting sustainable economic growth on the micro-, meso- and macro-level. This experience has taught me that not only are small- and medium-sized enterprises the heart of an economy – but farmers and their communities are vital too. Grassroots movements, and cooperatives in particular, are a fantastic model for inclusive growth!
I will be working at MDMPCU as a database management and documentation assistant. I will be part of the monitoring and data collection process, and will help with managing this data and ensuring it is properly documented, among other tasks. This is something totally different than what I’ve experienced working for the government – I am so excited to see and gather information on a tangible project, producing tangible results. It will be a feast for my brain!
Through this internship, I hope I can be a truly productive and contributing intern for MDMPCU. I am so enthusiastic to learn and I just want to take advantage of every moment I have to learn about this cooperative union and the way these types organizations function within Nepalese society. I am also very interested to learn about the “business model” of cooperatives and unions too. I hope to put my knowledge and skills to work but I believe I have much more to learn. As of now I can’t contain my excitement and I have a tendency to tell every person I meet about my pending experience!
Although I’ve been to many developing countries, I’ve never been alone, and definitely not for 3 months! I am excited to be in an unfamiliar place and to become familiarized, and I’m excited to be challenged. One of my main goals will be to learn as much of the language as I can before I go – another student at the University of Ottawa noted that his experience wouldn’t be the same if he wasn’t able to converse with the local population – and I would say I completely agree!
So, thus is my very brief introduction. I hope to keep blogging before and throughout my internship – so make sure to check back if you are interested! I will probably post again a few days before I leave to update you all on how I’m feeling!
Thanks for reading!