#SummerInternship Postcards!

During the summer, many of our second-year students conducted internships both here in Germany and elsewhere abroad. Here are some of their experiences!


Second-year CSMP students Laura Barrios and Julian Untiet were in South Africa for their internships. Julian was working at the German Embassy in Pretoria, while Laura was working with the Khulumani Support Group in Cape Town.

Julian Untiet, Germany:


“Goeie dag and sawubona friends and WBS community, greetings from Pretoria! I’m currently in Pretoria interning at the Economic Cooperation Division of the German Embassy. I’m glad I got the opportunity to go back to South Africa so soon after my volunteer year in Durban. It’s great to be based in Pretoria this time because it’s always sunny here and I can go to places I haven’t been to before, like Johannesburg for instance. Also, I will definitely visit Durban again while I’m here, so I can meet former colleagues and go surfing before it’s time to go back to Erfurt.”


Laura Barrios, Colombia:


“Being in South Africa gave me the opportunity to experience the most amazing features of this rainbow nation: warm people, incredible culture and language diversity, delicious food, and wonderful landscape. However, working with the Khulumani Support Group in the townships of Cape Town also gave me the chance to get closer to a reality that not everybody is able to know: hundreds of people that are still dealing with the consequences of a painful past, and are struggling every day to achieve a more equal, democratic, free, and respectful South African society.”


Our students Prathima Nalabolu and Mariana Beira Pacetta traveled to the Philippines to do their internships in the Institute of Land Governance at the Xavier University – Ateneo de Cagayan. The Institute carries out several projects ranging from indigenous people’s land rights to capacity building of local communities for implementing natural resource conservation.

Here are their messages:


Prathima Nalabolu, India:

“Mabuhay from the Philippines! This internship has provided me an opportunity to explore solutions to problems such as “Tragedy of Commons” discussed in the Economic Modeling course at the Brandt School. As part of the internship, I conducted research on land governance in the Philippines, indigenous people’s land rights and re-strategizing the Payment for Ecosystem Services project, a market based climate change adaptation strategy that places a value on common resources like clean air and water. My work will be used by the organization to do policy lobbying at the national level. Attending workshops and consultations on land rights, food security, and climate mitigation has greatly enhanced my knowledge. As a conflict studies student, I also had the incredible opportunity to visit Marawi city where the Philippine National Army is fighting the ISIS-linked group Maute, to provide relief material to the internally displaced people.”


Mariana Beira Pacetta, Brazil:

“It has only been one week since I started interning and I feel I have already done a lot. It has been very enriching to participate in all the work activities promoted by the organization. I already had the chance to attend a provincial consultation on land tenure and climate change, and visited a business conference, wherein local entrepreneurial women supported by our organization exhibited their products to the public. The team I am working with is very supportive and allows me to autonomously engage in the projects I find more relevant to my fields of interest. They are currently implementing an initiative of PES, Payment for Ecosystem Service, with which I plan to focus most of my time here, helping them to develop new financing strategies for the engagement of local businesses in the conservation of natural resources. I am looking forward to my 5 weeks to come, when I plan to use the knowledge I have absorbed to outline my Master thesis concept. And of course, also to find time to enjoy the warmness of the Philippine people and the many breathtaking landscapes from just some of their 7,000 islands.”


South Africa seems to be among the top destinations this summer. Robert Ellis, a second-year student, who is also one of the Haniel Stipend scholarship holders, did his internship at the eThekwini Municipality in Durban.


Robert Ellis, United States:


“I am working with the eThekwini Municipality’s Area Based Management Unit in Durban, South Africa, which is responsible for co-ordination of city service delivery. We have been working with a student-led organization called the Ubuntu Design Group. They design and build homes for disadvantaged families in the townships of Durban. I’ve been able to help their team with my experience in project management and administration as well as my knowledge of housing. It has been great to meet city department heads and see how this city functions as compared to Germany, back home in New York, or in other places I’ve lived, such as Seoul, Korea. South Africa has a troubling past, yet its youthful character and cultural diversity makes it incredibly rich with potential.”


Johny Hilaire, a second-year student from Haiti and Commitment Award 2017 winner, travelled all the way to the United States to start his internship at the Organization of American States (OAS). Here is his message:


Johny Hilaire, Haiti:


“Greetings from Washington DC!

I am in the United States doing my internship at the Organization of American States (OAS). This is a really great step in my academic life, not only because of the hands-on experience, but also because I am experiencing many new things and meeting new people. It has even inspired me to choose a topic for my master thesis.
OAS, as a regional agency within the United Nations’ structure, gives me the opportunity to better understand the Inter American system from a legal point of view. Washington DC is a wonderful city, I am enjoying every bit of it by visiting several headquarters of important institutions such as the World Bank, the American Red Cross, International Monetary Fund and, of course, the White House and the Federal Reserve.
OAS is a great place to do an Internship!

See you soon!”


Our student Donovan Gregg interned at the U.S. Embassy in Berlin with the U.S. Commercial Service.

Donovan Gregg, United States:


“Hello Brandt School Community! I completed my internship with the U.S. Commercial Service at the U.S. Embassy in Berlin. This particular agency is responsible for assisting U.S. companies who want to expand into the German market. Additionally, they assist in investment promotion activities for German firms that are looking to expand their operations in the United States. As an intern, I got the opportunity to attend a couple trade shows and assist with market research to help U.S. companies find new partners in Germany and to gage local interest in their products. Overall, it was a great opportunity to learn about the work that diplomats do and to also to learn quite a bit about the economic and political relations between the U.S. and Germany.”


Our student James Hoefnagels did his internship in Denmark with the Copenhagen Institute for Futures Studies.


James Hoefnagels, Canada:


“Hello Brandt School community! I am completing my internship at the Copenhagen Institute for Futures Studies. As a consultancy firm focused on future studies I have had the opportunity to learn an immense amount about how mega-trends are impacting different industries and strategies that help companies stay ahead of the competition. At CIFS, I have been able to meet and work with some really great people. I have been working on projects and reports that focus on the future of work, healthcare, and how to create organizational resilience. It has been an incredible two months and I am looking forward to what I’ll learn in the next couple of months.”


Second-year student and DAAD’s Helmut-Schmidt-Programme scholarship holder Daniela Sota Valdivia has been very busy over this Summer. She was in Vienna doing her Internship at the UNODC – United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. Prior to that, she also worked with the Idiog Consultancy Services LLP in India. Two internships in one summer!

Daniela Sota Valdivia, Peru:


“This summer, I had the opportunity to do my internship with IDIOG Consultancy Services LLP in New Delhi, India. I worked with the development, research, and implementation wing of the company with a special focus on Corporate Social Responsibility in India. This was a very enriching experience, it allowed me to combine the theoretical knowledge acquired during my first year at the Brandt School with practical experience. At the moment, I am doing a second internship at the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime in Vienna. More specifically, I am working with the anti-corruption section. These two experiences have made for a great #SummerInternship!”


Juliana Olave, Colombia:


“I did a 3 month internship as the Scientific Assistant at the Embassy of Chile in Berlin. As a public policy student, I realized that science policies can be powerful and could also encourage people’s lives. I didn’t travel to the sea or to the desert but I traveled within books and research in science. Chile has the largest seacoast in South America, and one of the largest in the world. The important meaning of the ocean and global warming was one of the main issues I learned about. Chile and Germany are building a bridge of knowledge about global issues, and learning about them was fascinating for me.”

David Adedamola, Nigeria:

one community

“My internship experience with One Community Development Trust has been a very fulfilling and exciting experience. One Community Development Trust gave me the opportunity to lead a project called New Beginnings. New Beginnings is a project that seeks to discover and share the heritage of Tilbury’s ethnic minority communities who made this area their home after 1980. Tilbury is a port town that has so much to do with the migration of immigrants to England. Tilbury is very diverse with many ethnic minorities and hence the need to research more into what has made the town friendly to many nationalities. I am grateful to One Community for giving me this challenge and it has been quite beneficial to me in building skills as a project manager, researcher, and policy analyst.”