Corryn Freeman (Washington, DC)
When I walked through the front doors of Creative Associates on February 3rd I couldn’t imagine how much my skewed perspective of international development would change.
Over the course of my 3 month long internship I have experienced a side of the international development world that I had no prior recollection of. I’ve learned that this field is comprised of more than just international field work.
Since I’ve been here I have grown to understand the importance of technical excellence. I remember my first conversation with Charito when she told me that something as simple as properly filling out check requests has the potential to drastically affect the international initiatives of the company. I learned that those initiatives are larger than the company. Small technical issues translate to staff without resources, and without resources we don’t have effective development.
Since I’ve been here at Creative I have fortuitously been afforded opportunities to attend lunches, panels, and meetings. I’ve met Harvard grads and women’s rights activists from Kabul and Cairo.
Even in the office I have had a thoroughly culturally enriching experience. I’ve had the opportunity to work alongside people from all ethnic backgrounds, on any given day I’ll hear conversations in Russian, French or Spanish.
My primary task as an intern was to conduct research and write a literacy report. The project was for me to take a look at some of DC’s exemplary literacy programs and see what aspects of those programs could translate into an international literacy program.
In doing my research I learned that a lot of schools in DC aren’t that different from those in the developing world. Even here in the Nation’s capital many of the public schools lack resources, quality instruction, and class time needed for adequate instruction. Literacy is the key to development for anyone anywhere.
Through this project I learned that community development is pretty much the same everywhere you go.
My experience at Creative has taught me a few things that I will carry with me for the rest of my life. I learned that passion plus technical excellence can bring about real effective change. Innovation is key to solving the issues in the world today.
Growth happens everywhere even in the small things that we do. But most importantly I learned that it is OK to fail. Failure is the prerequisite to success.
Corryn Freeman was an intern at Creative from February to May 2012.