Undergraduate Blog / Career Development

Perks of a Part-Time Internship


I think this is the busiest I’ve been during any of my summer vacations in Liberia. I set out this summer with a laundry list of things I wanted to accomplish. Ambitious things too. Lest I knew, conditions on the ground, the main ones being internet connection and electricity, weren’t as fitting as I’d anticipated. In fact, it is an absolute struggle. With sporadic and poor internet connection, I have to spend thrice as much time as would be needed to complete any work on the internet. Sometimes, it just doesn’t work. There are certainly spaces around the city with top notched internet connectivity, but who expects a college student to work from those spaces? Access to electricity actually brings so much joy and relief. Someone told me the actual meaning of the Liberian Electricity Corporation (LEC) to be Liberians Expecting Current. This is really true.

In any case, I still have to plow through my laundry list and meet the targets I’ve set for myself.  Every summer, my primary objective is to work on the growth and expansion of SMART Liberia, a social enterprise I co-founded four years ago. In order to accomplish this, I always take on short term internships to learn new skills, grow my network and deal with new challenges. This year, I didn’t have the chance to take on a full time internship due to the demands of SMART Liberia, but I still needed to learn and/or do something new. Thanks to the Accountability Lab, I’ve got a part-time internship that’s more flexible than I’d imagined.

At SMART Liberia, I set out to accomplish the following: Setup a new board, Build and launch our new website, Acquire an office space; Recruit new volunteers, Build new partnerships for our projects, Develop and implement new projects, etc. It is absorbing how much time these activities demand. Given my internet connectivity issues and a lack of stable electricity, the time required to get things moving has almost doubled. I am also participating in an offshore elective consulting project with a Portuguese company, Ahorronet, which, for the reasons above, was a huge challenge. Thanks to my part-time internship, I get to commit the time needed to accomplish these things. I have a list of tasks to accomplish for the Lab, all of which, do not require my physical presence almost all the time. This means, I get to do my work at times that work for me, and, of course, I have to deliver and meet my targets.

In all of this, progress is being made. Just yesterday, SMART Liberia launched its Vacation Academy for high school students in Liberia. We encourage you to follow our work and support us in any way possible.  Learn how