Valentina Vallejo Zafra

ICOPMED Compañía Limitada
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Valentina Vallejo Zafra

Liberal Arts Major(s): German, Global and International Studies
Minor: Economics
Hometown: Ecuador
Experience Time: Spring 2021

Give us a brief summary of your experience?

As an assistant project manager at ICOPMED, I was in charge of structuring the central format of a new study abroad program to Ecuador that would be hosted by TurisConsulting, one of the sub-companies of the firm. For this project, I connected the company with possible host institutions like the State University of Cuenca and also negotiated with other tourism agents for the extracurricular activities from the program. Additionally, I translated the companies' websites from Spanish into English.

During this internship, I learned how to properly communicate with clients and business partners.

How did this experience impact you academically?

Working 15 hours a week did not seem like a significant distraction for me. While in the first month of January my class duties and work responsibilities did not interfere with each other, once I started to have exams and major school assignments, my day would fly by. This internship quickly taught me to strengthen my time management skills, and I learned that sometimes I needed to give up extracurricular activities, like social gatherings, in order to manage all my academic and work obligations.

How will this experience impact your career goals?

During this internship, I learned how to properly communicate with clients and business partners. I would prepare all the information necessary for the meeting, call, or conference and make sure I answered people's questions while documenting any information my supervisor asked me to get.

How has the College of the Liberal Arts helped you to find and/or succeed in this experience (e.g., adviser, faculty, staff, enrichment funds, etc.)?

My adviser, Tom Spencer, guided me through the various options that I had for internships as the pandemic canceled my initial plans of going abroad and also completing an internship experience in Dublin. He made sure to put me in contact with the appropriate person to request approval for my internship for LA 495.

How has the Paterno Fellows Program had an impact on this experience?

Through the Paterno Fellows Program, I learned about LA 495, which allowed me to complete this internship for credit even though the internship was a non-Penn State option.

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.
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