Gaining Work Experience Abroad Without Leaving the U.S.

The MSU Excel Network’s Global Remote Internship Program has created remarkable, international remote work opportunities for students during the otherwise difficult time of the COVID-19 pandemic.

For Jessica Snider, a junior studying Interdisciplinary Humanities, this meant gaining valuable experience for a year at a research position with Cape Town Environmental Education Trust (CTEET),  an environmental education organization based in Cape Town, South Africa. For this internship, Snider researched a multitude of classroom resources such as worksheets, hands-on projects, videos, and more.

Jessica Snider

Her experience was made possible thanks to the MSU Excel Network’s Global Remote Internship Program, which gives students access to a virtual internship with an international company or organization. Here, interns gain professional experience while learning how to operate in an international context.

“As my first job in a professional setting, I have learned many valuable lessons in my time with CTEET,” Snider said. “However, most importantly I’ve learned how essential it is to work together even when you are thousands of miles apart.”

CTEET conducts outdoor education programs designed to challenge and change the lives of youth by providing them with opportunities to pursue a career in the green economy. The organization prides itself on being a leading force of environmental education in South Africa.

Snider with friends outside Spartan Stadium.

For Snider, this internship included conducting research on e-learning programs and discovering the best way students in undeveloped South African communities can use these resources.

“I was responsible for finding ways that kids in these areas are able to learn about the environment through different methods. This included looking for how children learn best while understanding what they have access to,” Snider said. “I researched hands-on projects, worksheets, videos, and more.”

The Excel Network guided me through the process and was excited to see where I would go. I am very thankful for their help and patience.

Jessica Snider, Interdisciplinary Humanities junior

Working in a remote setting had some added benefits. Snider was able to craft her own schedule, despite the seven-hour time difference between the United States and South Africa, and got her work done in a flexible manner thanks to her understanding co-workers.

She says her favorite experience with CTEET was getting to know everyone on her team and their capability to challenge Snider “to learn and do better in everything.”

Snider with football halftime performer Zeke the Wonderdog.

Since this was Snider’s first professional working environment, she also got some extra support from her advisors and the Excel Network faculty members, giving her peace of mind and jump-starting her career.

“The Excel Network guided me through the process and was excited to see where I would go,” Snider said. “I am very thankful for their help and patience.”

For more information on the Global Remote Internship Program and how you can apply, visit their website.