Bethany Adkins
Stillwater, Minnesota USA
As soon as Bethany arrived in Cape Town, she hit the ground running. She didn’t want to waste a single moment, either at her internship or traveling around southern Africa. Below she describes the highlights from her time at Read to Rise as well as tips for making the most out an internship experience.
Three highlights from my internship experience at Read to Rise:
(1) One of the most significant highlights of my internship experience at READ to RISE was being able to see a side of Cape Town that I would never have been exposed to without my internship placement. I was able to visit townships and schools that I would never have had access to, hear the stories of the people who lived there, and interact with primary school children.
(2) READ to RISE provides books to Grade 2 and Grade 3 students who come from backgrounds of poverty and trial. Another amazing aspect of my internship was the ability to go to primary schools and give kids a free book of their very own. When the kids received the books, their expressions were priceless. To many of them, it was like being gifted the world. The ability to witness such gratitude, especially over getting a book, was humbling and inspiring.
(3) Through my internship at READ to RISE, I gained a small family. The staff at my internship, as well as the weekly volunteers, always went above and beyond to ensure that I was comfortable and felt connected while in Cape Town. The people at my office were invested in me. They would give me both professional and personal life advice. They spoke to me about their experiences as professionals, partners, and parents. I, to this day, still think about the wisdom they imparted upon me and let it guide my steps.
Three tips for making the most out of your internship:

(1) Don’t be afraid to be pushed outside of your comfort zone. There will be times when your internship site will challenge you to do something you’re very anxious and uncomfortable about doing. I say, just go for it! You’ll grow so much in these moments.(2) Get to know your team! Ask questions not just about their professions, but learn about their backgrounds, why they are in their current fields, their hopes, dreams, and so on.(3) Invest in your learning. Cape Town is such a beautiful place, so it’s easy to get swept up in life outside of your internship site. While the things that you learn outside of your internship are extremely important and will help you grow as an individual, don’t forget that you signed up to learn and grow professionally. Commit to your professional growth.

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