The lessons and values I have learnt, and the connections I have made throughout the past few months at The Synergos Institute have been indisputably transformative in my personal and academic development. For making this opportunity possible, I am tremendously thankful to Mr. Brown, to the McGill International Experience Awards founders, to the Internship Offices Network, and to my wonderful mentors at Synergos for the ongoing support and resources that ultimately enabled me to complete this internship.
Over a period of twelve weeks, I was introduced to the framework under which Synergos operates to solve complex issues relating to poverty and international development. Through connecting extensive networks of leaders in the public and private sectors, Synergos spearheads multi-stakeholder development projects related to public health, education, food security, philanthropy, and change management. As an international non-profit organization, Synergos takes pride in generating sustainable economic and social value in a range of industries by equipping global leaders with a reservoir of strategies for working toward sustainable growth and social impact for all.
Beyond its mission to help solve complex global issues by advancing bridging leadership, I was drawn to Synergos by its comprehensive approach to sustainable social change—it fosters collaboration between public and private sectors, recognizes the role of local and global enterprise, and leads a range of programs addressing systemic causes of poverty. Over the course of my studies, I’ve become rapt by the legal and social implications of sustainable community development as they relate to education and poverty. I knew that interning with Synergos would help knit together my interests in public health, law, and development for a more unified understanding of where my academic and professional goals lie. More practically, I sought this opportunity to develop tactical skills in a corporate setting as well as to gain exposure in the non-profit industry. The projects I have worked on with Synergos have not only met these objectives, but have greatly surpassed my expectations for what it means to be an intern.
Working closely with the Human Resources department, I had the opportunity to work on many projects across the organization. As part of my role, I conducted data analyses on Neethling Brain Instrument (NBI) profiles for global staff, which are intended to help develop self-awareness, teamwork, leadership and communication. Through this process, I identified patterns in individual thinking preferences, skills and leadership styles across Synergos’ international offices. As part of a larger cultural initiative within Synergos, my supervisors trusted me to research and consolidate staff-wide data reports aimed at gaining a stronger perspective about Synergos’ internal operations and culture. In doing so, I was able to offer the executive team recommendations on where improvements may be valuable. Between these larger projects, I assisted in daily HR functions that helped me grip the overall flow of affairs at Synergos. Whether aiding in recruitment processes, contract auditing procedures or updating global travel policies, this internship sharpened my practical research abilities through projects, big and small.I mostly worked on the operations side of the organization, but I consider the occasions where I worked with different field offices to be highlights of my internship. Given my role, I got a coup d’œil into the many ongoing development projects within the organization, ranging from Global Philanthropists Circle (GPC) initiatives to social entrepreneurship projects overseas.
Although I was initially apprehensive about interning remotely after a year of virtual classes, the team at Synergos was pleasantly welcoming and my supervisors offered a personable internship framework which made my transition into the organization seamless. The internship was tailored to capitalize on my personal learning objectives, skills, interests and area of study, making for a personalized experience where I was given lots of autonomy and guidance. Even in a remote setting, I am appreciative of how invested my supervisors were in my growth.
Once more, I want to express my immense gratitude to Mr. Garvin Brown, and to the McGill International Experience Awards founders, for supporting me through the Susan Casey Brown Fund for McGill. I am humbled by the recognition, and, like many students, may not have been able to participate in this internship if not for this award.