Wednesday, July 22, 2009

"Get Together" with InteRDom!

There’s never a dull moment on the InteRDom program! Aside from the 4 cultural trips around the Dominican Republic, InteRDom organizes a series of informal “get-togethers” to give students the opportunity to catch up with one another, share ideas about their internships and classes and get to know different places in Santo Domingo.

In the Summer of 2009, the interns have had the opportunity to go on a number of sponsored get-togethers, including a pizza night, a 4th of July party, a meeting with the Director of FUNGLODE and a tour of the National Congress building.

At the pizza night, the interns were joined by Dominican journalism interns from Listin Diario’s “Journalist for a Year” program, giving them the opportunity to share experiences about university life and internships with one another. The Listin Diario interns also proved to be a wealth of support and knowledge for the InteRDom interns working on research and study projects. All of this against the backdrop of a truly Dominican pizzeria, and the night was made!

The 4th of July party was another spectacular evening! The interns were invited to the house of the United States Ambassador in the Dominican Republic for their annual Independence Day Celebration. The extravagant poolside celebration, featuring lavish buffet tables under 3 large tents, was an excellent networking opportunity for the students, who had the opportunity to meet both American and Dominican officials such as Max Puig, Dominican Secretary of Labor; Miguel Vargas Maldonado, President of the Partido Revolucionario Dominicano; and Roland W. Bullen, Minister-Counselor of the U.S. Embassy in Santo Domingo, as well as various journalism and television personalities.

In addition to these social activities, InteRDom students were also invited to a meeting to meet the new Executive Director of Fundación Global Democracia y Desarrollo (FUNGLODE), Marcos Herrera, and to tour the National Congress building by Senator Dominguez Brito of Santiago. Both events were excellent networking opportunities, as well as a chance for the students to ask questions and get a more behind-the-scenes look at how government and politics function in the Dominican Republic.

All of this and the summer isn’t over yet! There’s even more in store for the Summer of 2009…Stay tuned!

Monday, May 18, 2009

TOP Summer Internships!

InteRDom partners with over 300 companies and organizations in the Dominican Republic to bring students a wide variety of projects and opportunities to match each student’s study area, skills and talents! As the needs and interests of companies, organizations and communities are constantly changing with the times, so are their internships! Here is just a sampling of 3 of the TOP internships of the Summer 2009:

The first is in one of the region’s foremost NGOs: the Pan American Development Foundation (PADF). PADF is an international NGO that does work in disadvantaged communities all throughout Latin America and the Caribbean; specifically in the Dominican Republic, the Fwontyè Nou—Nuestra Frontera (Our Border) program implements projects intending to create economic opportunities and mitigate conflict along the poverty-ridden Dominican Republic-Haitian border region. This summer’s intern will be developing a business plan to unify the farming organizations along the border in order to help them work together to give their products a more competitive edge on the world market.

The second TOP internship is in another important NGO, but this one is in a local grassroots organization called Sur Futuro. Sur Futuro is an organization focused on bringing about social and economic transformation in the Southern region of the country using business development plans that focus on local capacity-building, protection of the environment and sustainable use of natural resources. Sur Futuro uses interns to help develop any and all of their projects, and this summer one student will be the Business Development and Fundraising Assistant for the new Sabana Yegua Upper Watershed Management Project. This project aims to restore and protect the natural resources of the river basins of the Sabana Yegua region. The InteRDom intern assigned to this project will create a business proposal for local entrepreneurs that promotes the sustainable management and development of the land. He will also assist in developing a fund-raising plan to support all of the organization’s environmental compensation projects.

Lastly, this summer one intern will be working in conjunction with Fundación Global Democracia y Desarrollo (InteRDom’s sponsoring institution) and the Ministry of Labor of the Dominican Republic to research and develop a proposal for legislation that will regulate and promote internships in the country. This is very important work as the current laws of the Dominican Republic do not include internships at all, but their insertion into regular Dominican business practices would help alleviate many problems currently on the rise in the business sector, including the lack of preparedness of college graduates to enter the workplace. The work of this intern will be included in the final proposal that will go before Congress petitioning for an addition to the labor laws and regulations of the Dominican Republic.

As you can see, InteRDom interns in the Dominican Republic have exciting work opportunities that make an impact on both smaller communities and the nation as a whole. This is just a sampling of the wide variety of opportunities that students from all field of study have to put their skills into practice and aid in the development of a nation. That’s why InteRDom interns are the cream of the crop!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

A Day In the Life of an InteRDom Intern

In the United States, it is not uncommon for University life to become dull and routine… but your experience abroad should be anything but dull! While InteRDom values a strong work ethic, the InteRDom experience is a delicate balance of work and fun, and InteRDom interns in the Dominican Republic have the chance to live both sides of Dominican culture in a vibrant, dynamic setting.

A typical week for an intern on the program consists of three parts: internship, classes and social activities.

Students generally work at their internship site from 18 to 20 hours a week, depending on what his or her contract specifies. The schedule also varies: some interns go to work in the morning, others in the afternoon. Some internships related to development, agriculture, Dominican-Haitian relations and others include a travel itinerary, which allows the students to become involved in other communities. Any additional trips are carefully planned so as not to affect the student’s academic performance.

Speaking of academics, depending on what the student has chosen for an academic program, most students take between 4-8 hours of class per week. If the student in enrolled in our Caribbean Culture course, class time includes field trips and cultural outings around the city. If the student in enrolled in courses with other Dominican students, the class itself will be an immersion experience, as you learn how a Dominican classroom functions and how students are expected to behave.

The InteRDom HOT Summer Seminars are an added bonus to everyone’s academic program! These seminars give students the opportunity to debate current “hot” topics with community leaders and experts in the field, not to mention other Dominican, Haitian and international students. The topics this summer are hotter than ever! As the Dominican Republic was recently added to the World Bank’s top 10 list of Latin American economies, we will be giving a seminar entitled “Doing Business in Latin America” in conjunction with the World Bank. Our other seminar, “Civil Rights in Latin America,” will focus on the steps taken in recent years (both legislative and independent) to improve the situation of human and civil rights of all Dominican (and non-Dominican) citizens.

At InteRDom we understand that All Work + No Play = No Fun, and we want you to enjoy your experience abroad! For this reason, we have organized an exhilarating agenda of cultural excursions that will allow you to travel all over the landscape of the country. Our “plus one” policy is a measure that we take to encourage you to invite a friend from school or from your internship—and all his/her expenses are paid! You will learn much more about Dominican culture if you experience it with actual Dominicans!

In addition to these trips, we plan a fun activity for one night each week to give all of the InteRDom students a chance to get together, catch-up, talk about their experiences… and to have a little fun!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Getting Ready for Summer 2009

The InteRDom team is getting excited for what promises to be an exhilarating Summer 2009 session! We have brand new internship offerings, as well as a fun agenda of excursions and cultural outings planned; the students are the only missing ingredient!

This year InteRDom interns have been accepted at more than 40 Dominican organizations, which represent professions that run the gamut from art to technology and serve the private and public sectors, as well as NGOs. These are top organizations in the Dominican Republic, and they are getting prepared for your arrival!

In addition to the internships and the cultural and academic agendas, InteRDom is thrilled to announce its 2009 HOT Summer Seminar Series. This series is a feature of its summer academic offering, and deals with recent topics of great importance on both the Caribbean and international scales. The seminars are given in conjunction with another organization that is expert on the topic, and students from local universities, businesses and non-profits are invited to attend. These seminars give students the opportunity to debate current “hot” topics with other students, community leaders and experts in the field.

In the summer of 2009, InteRDom students will be able to participate in two very important seminars that represent different aspects of current Dominican social and economic development. The first seminar, “Doing Business in Latin America,” will be given in conjunction with the World Bank, and is a result of the Dominican Republic’s recent addition to the World Bank’s list of the top 10 economies in Latin America. The second seminar, “Civil Rights in the Dominican Republic,” will be given with Fundación Institucionalidad y Justicia (FINJUS) y la Escuela Nacional de la Judicatura (ENJ), and will focus on recent documented research and reports of civil rights legislation and experience in Dominican communities.

We invite all accepted students to be writing in the blog right away! Tell us your impressions of the application process, and what your expectations are for the summer!