Utpala Shakya comes from Nepal and currently studies in the IB program at EF Academy New York. She did a summer internship with EF Thailand where she had the opportunity to explore some of the techniques and theories she’d need to pursue her interest in business studies. With an interest in economics and business management, she spoke to us in August and explained why her internship provided her with such a valuable opportunity.
Q. How was your internship experience?
My internship was such a good opportunity to apply classroom knowledge to real life. It’s helped me know more of the “behind-the-scenes” of how a company like EF works and to see and experience how the corporate world works.
The Thai office staff was really welcoming and helped me a lot with living in the city and going around, using the public transportation. I had a really fun time coordinating with them. Since I did my internship in Thailand, I could also experience the life of a Thai office worker so that was a plus!
Q. What did you hope to gain from this experience?
I hoped that through this experience I would be able to think outside of the box and in the future when I have to do the real job, that this experience will make me feel more at ease and I will make fewer mistakes going into the job.
Q. How did your internship connect to what you are studying at EF Academy?
Currently, I am studying business and through this internship, I was able to use and see some of the techniques and theories taught in that class. For example, to build the teamwork and increase the morale of the employees, EF Thailand had a bowling venue booked for all the staff and had a cool sports theme to go with the ongoing World Cup craze in Thailand.
Q. That sounds like so much fun! What do you think you were learning from that?
I’ve been learning the importance of time and being well-spoken. I’ve seen the importance of teamwork and the vital coordination between different departments for a job to be done, and the significance of the positive working environment for a job to be done properly.
Q. What was your favorite project during your internship?
My favorite project was helping new students that are also going abroad, talking to their parents so that they are more comfortable with sending their children to a foreign country, telling the new students how things work, and how the people are, what things they need to bring. Just by talking to them, I helped them have less anxiety about going to a new school so far away from home.
Q. What’s it been like to study abroad for high school?
Studying in an international school, where the faculty, staffs and the students are coming from different parts of the world, there is always something to new to learn each day.
In classes and clubs when discussions are happening, we get to learn new things happening in different countries and their point of view in the matter we are discussing. For example, in Environmental Club, we are growing some vegetables and we learned new techniques of agriculture that the members of the club learned in their home countries. Overall when all the ideas come together, it becomes something truly amazing.
Q. You sound like you have great goals for the future. What do you hope to achieve?
In future (short term), I would like to get into UCL or ETH Zurich but for long-term, I see myself being an Economist and to be well-employed in an organization to do the work I enjoy the most while studying more.
Q. That sounds incredible! How do you think you can apply what you’ve learned from your internship to your future goals?
In the future, I will work with the same enthusiasm and moral the staff at Thai office had. I will welcome new people and my colleagues the same way they had – always with a smile, and I will know the value of time and work so that the work is done well.
Summer Stories is a series of interviews with EF Academy students taking part in internships throughout summer 2018. This is part three of the series.