Sunday, 24 January 2016

10 Tips For Future Interns Coming To Belize

Today was possibly the most uneventful day I’ve had in Belize, but I’m not complaining about it. I love being lazy on the weekends. I slept late, caught up with my family at home, and relaxed quite a bit. This time allowed me to think what advice I would give to a new intern concerning the work culture in Belize. My advice is as follows:
  1. Have an Open Mind: This will likely be a totally new experience for you. It’s important to understand that things will be different than you expect. Try to understand why things are different.
  2. Keep Busy: You will not always have an assignment to do or something clear to work on. During these times, keep busy in another way to help the office. If push comes to shove, work on something else (i.e. journal entries or something else productive).

  1. Ask Questions: Assignments can be confusing. Explanations for the assignments can be confusing and broad. You want to do the work right and you will need help from coworkers.
  2. Don’t Get Frustrated: This is a learning experience. There will be challenges and frustrating circumstances. Don’t let them get to you. Understand that this is all a process that will better you professionally for the future.

  1. Expect Slow Days: For many, this will be your first time spending significant time in an office. Combining that with the heat can sometimes make the day drag.
  2. Take Initiative: Don’t wait to be told what to do. Always ask if someone needs help with anything. Taking initiative can help solve a lot of other problems (i.e. staying busy, controlling frustration).

  1. Make Comparisons, Not Judgments: It's important to compare your idea of US work culture with Belizean work culture. What could the US learn from Belizeans? Anything you could advise the Belizeans to consider?
  2. Understand Your Role: Having a good understanding of your role in the office will make things run smoothly. It can be frustrating if you do not know what is expected of you. Ask your supervisor and your colleagues what they think your role is.
  1. Don’t Get Discouraged: Keep your head up. You are not interning long enough to have time to get discouraged.
  2. Appreciate Your Opportunity: You are gaining professional and international experience and getting college credit for it. This will be something you will always remember and is a huge resume builder. It is an opportunity very few people have and even less people take .
Written by Jonathan Moore, SUNY-Cortland, Summer 2015 intern at the Belize Red Cross.

For more information on intern opportunities in Belize check out our website, Facebook page or tweet us.