Why I Moved 3209 Miles to Intern With Outward Bound Costa Rica

Looking back, it’s a little crazy that I ended up in Costa Rica last semester.

I have always been a little spontaneous in life. I try to embrace everything life throws at me and make it work in my favor. On January 6th of this year, I got an email offering me a Marketing & Media internship with Outward Bound Costa Rica. After very little thought or consideration I decided to accept, and nine days later I had moved out of my house, packed up my life, and moved to Costa Rica to begin my eight-month journey.

There are many things that prompted me to make such a big decision so spur of the moment. The main reason was because the internship fit perfectly with my two majors- Journalism and Global Studies. I couldn’t wait to work in a marketing office and soak up real-world knowledge that I knew was missing from a classroom setting.

Never before had I worked in a real marketing office. I didn’t even know if I wanted to work in a marketing office after I graduated school. All I knew was that I would be working alongside professionals who could teach me an abundance about marketing and media and provide me with valuable projects I could use in a portfolio.

I’ve had the chance to work on a variety of projects thus far in my internship, and I’m incredibly thankful to Outward Bound Costa Rica for helping me become so well-rounded in my knowledge.

One of my first projects when I arrived was to make a new Motivation Monday template, where we would share motivational quotes and photos every Monday. My boss wanted a new, creative design to share our photos and quotes and I was tasked with using InDesign, a program I had never used, to create a design. Not only did this task teach me about InDesign, but it forced me to expand my problem solving skills. Here I was at a new internship and my first task was to use a program I had never used before. After lots of experimenting and trial and error, I finally came up with a template that was used the whole summer. Since then, I have also put my new InDesign skills to use creating travel guides for Costa Rica and Panama, cover images for our social media, and various other projects such as email headers and itineraries.

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Another big part of my internship is managing Outward Bound Costa Rica’s photos and videos. I have control over the organization of the photo and video folders- I’m in charge of making sure unnecessary media isn’t taking up space on our server, keeping the folders organized and easy to navigate, and finding certain photos or videos for my co-workers when needed. I’ve also gotten to film and edit a variety of videos to help promote Outward Bound Costa Rica’s programs and gain exposure. Some examples of videos I’ve interviewed and edited are Girl Scouts Aid in Sea Turtle Conservation with Outward Bound Costa RicaMeet Bailey: From Student to Instructor and a feature on James and Dave, Outward Bound Australia instructors who are cycling across the Americas.

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While learning new skills is always fun, I of course can’t forget that this internship is in Costa Rica. Catering to my global studies major, I’m constantly learning new things about the Costa Rican culture and Spanish language, and am even getting the opportunity to travel to other Central American countries such as Guatemala, Nicaragua and Panama. I’m still in awe that my office is located in the rainforest of Costa Rica. I go to work everyday in a beautiful place, with co-workers who I love, and do work I’m passionate about. I can say with certainty that I will miss this country and job when I leave in August, but I am grateful for all the experience and opportunities I have gained through Outward Bound Costa Rica. Because of this internship, I have renewed confidence that journalism/marketing, combined with traveling, is what I want to do with my life. I don’t regret for a second my decision to take a semester off school to be here. The experience I’ve gained here will be invaluable to me and give me a one-up in the job market once I graduate college.

For anybody considering an internship abroad, my advice is to 100% do it. Internships abroad will add a whole new dimension to your internship that a domestic one simply doesn’t offer. Sometimes you need to take chances in life! It’s sure worked out well in my case.

Thanks for reading about my time with Outward Bound Costa Rica. ¡Pura Vida!

This post originally appeared on Outward Bound Costa Rica’s blog.

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