Trevor Grayeb, (2015 Longwoods Fellow) internship in Tokyo, Japan, with Langley Esquire

Thanks to the PICS Summer Research and Internship Grant, I was able to spend three months in Tokyo, Japan, where I interned at Langley Esquire, a public affairs consulting firm specializing in business, legal, and political advising for foreigners and foreign corporations in Japan. The educational value of my work was augmented by the sheer diversity of cases. I assisted with everything from arranging basic legal documents for foreign residents to advising major American Fortune-500 companies to assisting Japanese venture groups with expansion into overseas markets. By the end of my stay, I had been placed in charge of developing potential topics for the weekly office podcast on Japanese politics and compiling research and show runners for each new episode. I feel I have acquired a depth of knowledge about Japanese politics, business, and law that cannot be obtained through a college classroom, and my immersion contributed to the rapid improvement of my ability to speak and to read Japanese. Overall, my experience was career-orienting, and perhaps life-orienting—fueling a desire to pursue further, long-term professional experiences in Japan.  

Shalini Rao, internship in Trujillo, Peru, with Supporting Kids in Peru (SKIP)

For nearly three months, I served as an intern at Supporting Kids in Peru (SKIP), an NGO based which serves the community of El Porvenir. SKIP employs educational support and family welfare programs to help children realize they have a right to an education. I conducted a series of basic economics workshops and taught English twice a week to a group of six- through nine-year-olds. I was amazed by the staff’s commitment and passion, and I learned many soft skills needed for NGO work: improvising and troubleshooting. My experience at SKIP was monumental in my professional and personal growth. I gained valuable practical skills working in a diverse group and having limited resources. On a personal level, this experience changed my perspective on how I understand impoverished communities and solidified my passion for development.

Gurdit Suri, research in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

I spent almost a month in Buenos Aires, conducting research on the rise of family dynamics and the effects of business outcomes in family businesses. The funding I received from PICS was instrumental, providing the means to travel and live in Argentina, as well as purchasing supplies necessary for my research. The help and guidance from the center was vital to supporting my research endeavors, and I would not have been able to conduct my project without their support throughout the process.


Chinemelu Okafor, Ottawa, Canada, internship with the New Democratic Party

PICS’ generous funding afforded me the opportunity to intern with the New Democratic Party (NDP), working for Linda Duncan, MP for Edmonton Strathcona. The NDP is a proponent of supporting First People and immigrants’ rights along with raising the minimum wage and removing the Keystone XL pipeline. I learned so much about Canadian politics, in such a short amount of time. Timelines and optics are everything. I could not be more thankful to PICS for allowing me this opportunity, what a wonderful experience.

Christopher Anderson, (2015 Longwoods Fellow) Braga, Portugal, internship with BabeliUM

I lived in Braga for 10 weeks, teaching English and working for BabeliUM, the language school of the Universidade do Minho. My students were mainly adults, over the age of 30 years, which challenged me to envision where I would like to be a decade or two down the road. I took an intensive class in Portuguese for three weeks while I taught. My immersion and daily interactions helped me gain a new understanding of the way education inspires intellectual growth and gave me a window into daily lives, values, and faith of the local families I met. Personally, I grew a lot from this experience and learned so much about myself. Now, I am confident about my plan to apply for a Fulbright Scholarship to teach English in Japan, China, or Korea after graduation. This was an incredible opportunity, thanks to the support from PICS.

Katherine Mercieca, (2015 Longwoods Fellow) Dublin, Ireland, intership with James Watters & Co.

I spent eight weeks in Dublin, Ireland, completing an internship with the Irish law firm James Waters & Co., which specializes in immigration and asylum law. As an International Studies and a pre-law student, this experience was beyond invaluable. I assisted the solicitors and trainees on important cases and projects, primarily involving country of origin information research. I had prior research experience, but the work I was involved with during my internship significantly improved my abilities and exposed me to a variety of useful resources. Through my research, I gained a better understanding of current events focusing on the human rights crisis. After completing this internship, I can say with absolute certainty that I want to pursue a career in law. It was an essential factor in determining my career, and my PICS grant was an important monetary contribution to my experiences.