As a Nepalese girl in search of an internship in a developed country, I went through a lot of learning phases.
I was entangled in the hypothesis that in western countries, the probability of finding an internship by the students from developing countries is fairly small compared to those from developed countries. This was proven at first when I went to internship fares that turned out to mostly target people interested in working in developing countries. I applied to forty organizations as far as Geneva and Vienna and waited for the replies. Months flew by but I did not hear positive news from the organizations that had replied initially. I did reapply and resent my emails to organizations I was really expecting to hear from. I dedicated my entire days to going to library computers and to writing more unsolicited motivation letters. I kept hearing from my foreign friends that they were getting internships in many different places.
Morning did not show the day in my case. After two months, I got replies now and then asking me for skype interviews and time frames. Sadly, a UN organisation wanted to hire me at a time when I could not go. On the bright side, this was the time when my hypothesis was proved wrong.
I learnt that ‘us’ and ‘them’ did not exist in the system of work in a developed country. Though it is difficult to get such links that really make us a part of western culture, competence is treasured while connections, age, gender are denied. Despite its structured process, it really relieved me as I had to present myself as who I was; I did not have to say whose daughter or niece I was.
Mary studies for her Msc in International Development and is from Nepal.