J1 intern story: “There’s more to learn after school”

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Here’s another great J1 intern story.

I was born and raised in Manila, Philippines. I graduated from an international business school with a Bachelor’s Degree in Entrepreneurship and started my own company. I put up a travel agency since travelling has been one of my passions in life.

I have always been fascinated with other nations, different people and cultures.

Whenever I travel, I usually stay with the locals, I love mingling with them and listening to their stories. I wanted to see places, enjoy the adventures of getting lost and discover destinations that are beyond the usual tourist spots. I like to go to the country side and to be part of their small community even just for a short visit.

One day, over coffee with my siblings, they shared all their exciting experiences living in different parts of the world that made me want to try life in a totally different environment as well.

I thought  that being an intern would be a good experience for me since it will help me better understand other kinds of work environment and will greatly help in growing my own business.

This is when I found out about an international internship program in America, got accepted and immediately grabbed that opportunity.

My internship was in the state of Georgia. I can tell you that this was one the best highlights of my life. I have met my best friends from every single continent… cool people from Spain, Italy, Argentina, Brazil, Africa, UK, America. Name it!

Then it was time for us to part ways, we had to go back to our county. Oh well, we never stopped crying! When I arrived back, I realized how I also missed my company.

I was also happy to return in my home country since I am carrying in my heart and mind the knowledge and experiences that I gained.

I have learned so many things during the program. Living independently was one and was kind of a challenge I had. Having the discipline to budget my money on food, phone bills, gas, of course party was (which I thought would be very simple) tough! Second is adjusting and dealing with different kinds of personalities.

Sheila and her J1 intern friends

Sheila and her intern-friends in Atlanta, GA

I became very open minded also after having met interesting people with different kinds of views in religion, beliefs, global issues, politics etc.

Professionally, I gained first-hand experience working in a first world county that is a good training ground for young entrepreneurs like me.

For future interns, my advice is: have fun and learn! There’s more to learn after school, and life lessons cannot be taught unless you experience living it.

Enjoy the achievements, the stress, the failures, the adventures, bittersweet moments, enjoy time with new friends, fall in love with the internship, places, strangers. Create memories. Everything is just worth it.

Currently, I decided to pursue master’s degree in California, USA and continue to operate a business in fashion and travel fields. Like us on Facebook (Our website is coming soon too, we’ll keep you posted!). We aim to promote eco-friendly products but still fashionable and provide travel plans for young people that are up for adventure!

SHEILA F. AYO

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International education will change the world! J1 visas, F1 visas, OPT - been there, done that. Worked for a J1 sponsor, owned a technology business. Trail runner. Love search engines and Soviet history. Have a question about internship programs? Let's connect!


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