(*Filmed in May 2021)

Student Intern Profile

Name: Cristian Etpison Nicolescu
Country: Palau
Major: International Business Studies
Internship at: Asian Development Bank (in Palau)

—Please describe the internship program you participated in.
I did my internship at the Asian Development Bank in Palau at their Palau Pacific office. I took the opportunity to go back during this time of online classes, with the current situation of the covid-19, pandemic. The good thing was that Palau had zero cases of Corona, so it was safe to go back.

—What challenges did you face?
The challenges that I faced were when I was gathering the research and the data. A lot of businesses and local government, organizations, they wouldn’t get back to me on time or they would put things off. So the way that I overcame this was, I just was persistent and I kept asking in the most polite way that I could. Then finally I was able to get through these barriers.

—What did you enjoy the most?
Thing that I enjoyed the most was how much I learned through my internship in the firsthand experiences that I was able to do.

For example, going to different farms in Palau and asking questions to local farmers and just seeing like what was being grown, and just really learning like how Palau can improve in the agricultural development.

And another thing was the people that I worked with or interned with gave me so much great career advice and was just so positive. And I’m really grateful that our paths were able to cross.

—How did TUJ’s education and your experiences contribute to the success of your internship?
My education at TUJ definitely prepared me to do this internship in a professional manner. I was able to take courses at TUJ that I learned through economics of development, we talked a lot about these different government, NGOs and the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, and the UN. And just to be able to be at one of these organizations first hand after reading about it and studying it in school was very eye-opening and such a great opportunity for me.I definitely think that learning about it before going into it, helps you to do it better and for the process to not just learn about it, but to be more impactful when you actually already know the background of what you’re doing.

I was lucky that my supervisor was very accommodating to my class schedule, and she even let me do my internship hours around my class schedule. I was very blessed for that opportunity. Most of the time I was at the Asian development Bank, even doing my classes from there because I communicated to put them in my class schedule, and they would even give me a space to study when I needed to. They would even let me use the conference room.

—Any advice to future students?
For the advice I would give to interns or fellow interns coming up in TUJ is to just be more assertive and even though you’re an intern don’t see yourself that way.Of course be respectful, but try to be as impactful as you can and ask questions where you need to ask. Don’t be afraid to ask them. Try to see where you can help out in any way that you can and don’t ever stop learning. Always keep an open mind, listen and try to learn as much as you can and if you don’t understand something just ask or do more research on your own to see what where you can help. That’s what I would say to incoming interns.

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