Intern name: Kevin Knutson
Major (s): Accounting - CPA Concentration
Place of internship: Nešto Više, Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina
How did you find out about the internship and what was the application process like?
I first found out about a global internship via email, and then I spoke to a few friends who participated in a global internship in Bosnia and Herzegovina in prior years and they told me I would be a good candidate to apply. I submitted my application through the CSB/SJU website. Then I received an interview on campus with Joe Rogers who works in the Center for Global Education. When I heard that I had been accepted, my resume went to someone in Bosnia and Herzegovina who was in charge of placing me into an organization in that country.
What were some of the internship highlights?
There were a lot of things that I consider highlights of my internship experience. First, interning in a foreign country was amazing on its own. It was wonderful working in an environment where all the employees in the office got along, and loved everything they did at their job. I also got to experience traveling, both on my own, and for my internship. While abroad, I was able to visit other countries and other locations within Bosnia and Herzegovina. Almost every weekend we visited another country or another city within Bosnia and Herzegovina. Getting the experience of an internship, and the experience of a new culture was wonderful! Another highlighting experience was working with another individual who was living in another city in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The two of us communicated and worked together to complete an assignment while living nearly 150 miles apart was an experience I've never had before.
What was a typical day like? What were some of your major responsibilities?
Most days I worked 9:00-4:30, on occasion the hours fluctuated due to the work that we needed to do. Some of the time my coworkers and I would travel to the greenhouse that Nešto Više owns, and spend a few hours maintaining their farm, as well as gathering vegetables and fruits that the organization donated to other organizations that served people in need. Other days I spent time researching and analyzing data for Nešto Više, looking into the possibility of establishing a full semester study abroad program in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
What were some of the challenges of your internship?
Initially the language barrier was a challenge. My coworkers spoke English as their second language, so getting used to hearing them converse in their own language, and then translating to me was a bit of a challenge. I was used to it by the end of the summer, and was able to learn a few phrases and words in their language as well!
What did you learn?
I learned a lot about myself. I am more comfortable in an environment where English is not the main language spoken. On top of this, I gained so much awareness of another culture. Our world is becoming more globally connected due to the technological advances. This internship abroad will be rewarding to me in the future when I have a full time job here in the United States and am working with clients/partners etc. in other countries.
What advice would you give other students interested in internships?
Be open to an experience that you would never expect. If I asked myself 4 years ago where I might intern, I never could have imagined I would go to Bosnia and Herzegovina. Even if you do not think you will receive an offer to intern at a company, or abroad, apply if you are interested! You just never know what opportunities life will bring you!