CIEE Alumni Internship Program
Out of over 300 applicants, 11 interns were chosen for this year’s internship class. Interns spent nine weeks at the CIEE headquarters in Portland, Maine, where they worked closely with a mentor to develop projects in innovative areas of study abroad.
In addition to their projects, interns participated in a weekly professional development seminar, where they learned about personal branding and career preparation.
Meet the Interns
The 2015 CIEE Alumni Internship Class
This year’s internship class are currently students at:
- Miami University of Ohio
- Skidmore College
- University of Virginia
- Denison University
- Beloit College
- Colby College
- Gonzaga University
- University of Oregon
- Carleton College
- University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
- Loyola University New Orleans
Where did this year’s interns spend their time abroad with CIEE?
What are this year’s interns majoring in?
International Studies - French - Business Management - Public Policy - Leadership - Educational Studies - Spanish - Business Economics - Government - History - International Relations - Economics - Public Relations - Cinema - Media Studies - Global Studies - Public Policy - International Business - Marketing
A Day in the Life
An inside look at the CIEE alumni internship program
Starting from day one at the office, I knew that the CIEE headquarters was an exciting and friendly environment to work and grow professionally.
From the open floor design of the office to the friendly staff, I instantly felt welcome and like a member of a team. A really fun team!
Over the span of the nine-week program, no two days felt exactly the same. Whether we were in an alumni internship workshop learning how to implement our personal brand, busy generating work in our departments, or enjoying a lunch meeting at one of the many fantastic restaurants downtown, there was a constant flow of action.
Of course, a typical day at any office includes checking emails, attending meetings and a lot of hours looking at a computer screen, but at CIEE, all of the work was fun and engaging.
My typical day always started with a trip to the kitchen to fill my CIEE tumbler with fresh coffee before tackling the days’ necessities, then heading back down to the Global Media Center to see what content would be edited and produced for that day to be published on the social sharing platform. Unless there was a random torrential downpour (which is somewhat common in Maine, I came to learn), I spent all of my lunch break outside, either walking around or finding a spot in the sun to eat my lunch. The latter part of my days were spent collecting assets (photos and videos) and thinking of the next article to write about before dragging myself down to the gym before heading home.
I loved spending my days working on a team to create and edit multimedia content, as well as implementing my knowledge of public relations and branding strategy to create a new and innovative website.
There were so many aspects of this internship program that taught me a lot about what professional direction I see myself heading, as well as understanding the dynamics of an office environment, as this was my first real experience in a business professional setting. I learned a lot and had so much fun in the process! Plus, so much lobster. You absolutely cannot do Maine without lots of lobster.
Living in Portland, Maine
The Way Life Should Be
"I told my friends after coming back from Portland that I had one of the top summers of my life. Primarily, the weather in Portland in the summer is incredible, which encourages so many outside activities.
The dorms we were housed in were in the Arts district in Portland, only a 10 minutes walk to the downtown with so many cute shops and restaurants! I spent so many days just wandering around the shops and exploring the delicious coffee shops and ice cream options. Also, it is amazing how many different trails and promenades are within walking distance. I would run at least 4 times a week either on the beautiful Eastern Prom or on the Back Cove Trail. Also, as a group, the interns would walk to the Western Prom on clear nights to watch the sunset from the top of the hill. I think it was a mixture of the incredible food, beautiful outdoors, and people that made my time in Portland so great. I can’t wait to come back to visit (maybe permanently).”
The incredible alumni team reached out to the study abroad office at UVa and mentioned that I had received an internship position with CIEE for the summer. Immediately, the study abroad office personally contacted me asking if I would like to apply to become an intern in the office for the following school year. I had already planned on applying and after several Skype interviews, I got the position! The first few months of the internship have been great and I am applying everything I had learned at CIEE to learn even more at my internship.
I am working specifically with the scholarship advisor and am responsible for publicizing different scholarship opportunities, coordinating events, and being a liaison for those with scholarships already abroad. Another fun part is I get to go to different classes of different sizes and present about UVa study abroad programs and my personal experience studying abroad. I use the elevator speech we crafted in one of our alumni professional development sessions every time!
Internship Project Spotlight
Alumni Relations: High School Reentry Events
When I think back on my intern experience with CIEE, I am always reminded how lucky I was to be chosen for such a cool position. I know, lame choice of adjectives to describe any experience, right? But I’m not lying, it really was cool.
I loved everything about the internship. Living in Portland. The beautiful CIEE offices. The food in Portland. My fellow interns. The project I was working on was pretty exciting too. I was in charge of planning reentry events in four locations across the US for about 300 High School Study Abroad Summer Alumni, their parents, and teachers in the area.
I spent the first couple of weeks researching reverse culture shock and designing a survey to send out to past high school alumni and their parents. Once I started receiving survey responses, I contacted some of the parents via telephone and was able to get some really great in-depth information on their child’s reentry experiences.
Then came the fun part of actually planning the events. I spent a lot of time researching venues with the help of different teachers and CIEE employees across the US. I also collaborated with members of CIEE’s HR and alumni teams to design the parent, teacher, and student curricula for the events. I also got to design some CIEE swag to give to the event participants and choose the menu of pizza and international desserts.
Around the office we were treated like real employees, and given a considerable amount of responsibility. We attended weekly professional development seminars, where we covered everything from perfecting our resumes and LinkedIn profiles to creating a personal brand to use throughout our future careers. We were even given the opportunity to create connections through “30 Minutes to Mentor” sessions with other individuals in the company. Every day was a new learning experience.
Outside of the office, we interns kept pretty busy. There is so much to do in Portland, and we lived right in the center of the city. Some Saturdays were spent at the farmer’s market in Deering Oaks Park, while others consisted of road trips to L.L. Bean up in Freeport or quick drives down to explore Boston. We always went to $5 movie Tuesday at the Nickelodeon Theater, which provided a great break to what was occasionally a very busy work week.
Portland offered so many great opportunities for shopping and sightseeing, but the food was especially superb. It was difficult not to stop by one of the six donut shops or cafés I passed on my way to and from work each day, and even more difficult not to be tempted by Otto Pizza for dinner, which was only a block away from our apartment building.
This internship not only provided me with great work experience and a fun place to live over the summer, but some highly valued new friends and mentors. This experience has inspired me to seek out a career in international education, and I was able to go into my senior year with confidence in knowing exactly, well, having a pretty solid idea of, what I want to do after I graduate.
After her internship, Hannah was hired by the Off-Campus Study Department at Denison University as a student intern, where she will be promoting study abroad on campus and reaching out to student returnees. After graduation, she plans to seek a career in the field of international education.
Takeaways from the internship experience
My summer as a CIEE alumni intern proved to be more rewarding than I ever could have hoped.
This was my first experience in a true 9-5 office setting so I learned a great deal about the expectations that will be placed on me as I enter the professional world. I really felt like my project mentors and the internship coordinators took an interest in both my individual study abroad experience as well as my personal professional goals. This really helped me to recognize my own strengths and weaknesses in a way that pushed me to develop both personally and professionally.
Another great aspect of the internship program was the process of actively reflecting on my own time abroad, how it changed me, and how I can use what I’ve learned to positively impact myself and others. Ultimately I think what makes this internship so great is the personal interest that everyone you meet will take in you because it ensures each intern will get the advice and experiences they need.
I’m graduating in two months so I’m fully in the job search process right now. My internship at CIEE has had a very clear impact on that process as it strengthened my resumé, helped prepare me for interviews, and solidified my interest in travelling or living abroad as part of my career.
When I started my internship at CIEE, I was delighted to be taking my first steps in the world of international education in the seaside city of Portland, Maine.
From the salty air to the warm welcome at CIEE, I knew that I was in the right place to meet professionals and gain insight as to what steps I might take following graduation. One of my goals for the summer was to meet and connect with many people simply to discuss their experiences: how did they end up at CIEE? What helped them to make their way in international education? What advice would they give to themselves at age 21?
What really made the internship for me was the Thirty Minutes to Mentor program, which gave me the opportunity to connect with many different individuals in the organization. Through these thirty minute, professional conversations, I met with eight or ten individuals within CIEE. Each of these people was at a different place in their career and had different educational and professional backgrounds. In addition to gaining professional insight, I also began to feel more a part of the organization, saying hello to these friendly faces in the kitchen or stairwell. Of course, these conversations were also a great way to hear about what to do, where to eat, and simply how to best enjoy Maine in the summer.
While I didn’t make it to every restaurant that was recommended by CIEE staff members, I undoubtedly took away several key pieces of advice that have strongly shaped my post graduate goals to teach English abroad or find a job in international education. For these clear and achievable goals, I have to thank the wise and warm individuals that form the staff of CIEE for helping me to gain an idea of how a career in international education begins and grows.
If you’re interested in applying to the CIEE Alumni Summer Internship, visit our website for more information.
Applications for the 2016 internship will be accepted between December 2015 and March 2016.