The if i could… programme is proud to have connected students and volunteers with international internships in Cape Town and New Delhi. Our internships are a great way to gain work experience while contributing to a better world!
Recently, GoOverseas interviewed one of our previous Programme Coordinators, Alison Clowes. Read on to find out more about her best travel memories and the if i could… programme.
What is your favourite travel memory?
Arriving at the Taj Mahal at sunrise with the sun slowly coming up and burning of the fog. It was early enough that it wasn’t very busy yet, and you could see it standing magnificently in the distance. Because it’s one of the most photographed buildings on earth I didn’t expect to be so moved by it.
But being from the United States there is nothing that has that sense of weight or architectural beauty on such a grand scale. I remember staring intently at the curving script meticulously carved in marble, and being in complete awe at the work of art that it was. It’s such a rare treat to see up close, and you appreciate its beauty in a very different way.
Which destination is most underrated? Conversely, which is the most overrated?
India is definitely underrated. I lived there for over a year and completely fell in love. It’s not for the faint of heart. But if you have a sense of adventure and can embrace the chaos, it’s totally amazing. India is a place that brings your senses to life. There is so much sound, colour, taste, and sensation that you feel more alive when you’re there. And the natural beauty and stunning architecture are unlike any other.
For a relatively small country, it has a shocking amount of different cultures, languages, and climates. The opportunities to explore are endless.
It’s hard to say a specific destination is overrated because you can always find beautiful or intriguing elements. However, I definitely think that the beach resort vacations are overrated because you don’t get a sense of the culture or people when you’re shut away in a little resort enclave.
What do you believe to be the biggest factor in being a successful company?
Investing in people. Whether they are clients or co-workers, when you take the time to listen and observe and then respond in ways that support who individuals are as people, you can’t lose. People want to be heard, understood, appreciated and affirmed. So, doing those things goes a long way.
What unique qualities does your company possess?
Unlike many other intern placement programs, we practice what we preach. We were first started in 2003 as a research consultancy in the development sector in Cape Town. Since then Development Works Changemakers has expanded and built long-standing relationships with major organizations through contributions to research, monitoring and evaluation, communications, and much more. Our staff brings a deep understanding of development theory and practise gains through years of experience in the industry.
Describe a time when you felt especially proud to be part of your current team:
Any time we have an intern come back and say, “Wow, you all really went the extra mile, and I was so thankful for all your support,” I’m proud that we have helped our interns succeed. I’ve done many internships and international exchange programmes and I’m extremely committed to making sure that our interns have really exceptional experiences, so I’m thrilled when I see that it has happened.
To find out more about our international internship offerings in Cape Town or New Delhi, visit our website! You can also reach a Programme Coordinator at email@example.com to schedule a Skype. We are looking forward to helping you find that perfect internship!