Tomas Esquer-Perez's Internship
This summer I am super excited to be interning at the Aspen Institute with the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE) program. I just finished my second week of my internship and I have already learned so much! Before diving into the specifics of my responsibilities, I will start with a brief overview of the organization I am involved with. The Aspen Institute was founded in 1949 by a man named Walter Paepcke with the overarching mission of providing a space for dealing with critical issues in a nonpartisan manner. It is a nonprofit think tank headquartered in Washington, D.C., which is where I will be working throughout the summer. The Aspen Institute is composed of nearly 60 programs that deal with a variety of issues ranging from education to justice and civic identity. ANDE, the program I will be working with, is a global network of organizations that help entrepreneurs in developing countries, with a specific focus on the small and growing business sector. It was launched in 2009 with 34 members and now has over 260 operating in over 150 countries. These member organizations provide financial, educational, and business support services to entrepreneurs based on the belief that they will create jobs, stimulate long-term economic growth, and produce environmental and social benefits.
During my first week orientation, in addition to meeting all of the ANDE employees working in D.C., I also met the other intern working with me this summer. My main responsibilities throughout the summer will include assisting with a research initiative on the effectiveness of business accelerators, and helping review and revise reports that are sent out to ANDE members periodically. My team and my supervisor have also stressed their desire to help me learn more about global development, and therefore I will participate in several informative learning labs and attend many of their meetings and group discussions. Improving my excel skills through online tutorials and individual sessions with my supervisor will also make up a portion of my summer duties.
Throughout my time in college, and still to this day, I have struggled with what I want to do professionally upon graduating. I know this will be a great opportunity to explore working for a nonprofit and learn more about international development, a career path I have strongly considered perusing. Additionally, the work ANDE is doing is significantly contributing to Western efforts to help alleviate poverty in poor regions of the world, and that is something I am very fortunate to be a part of this summer.