Volunteers tell about their experience

 

Hear what our volunteers have to say about working with IDEAS.

Jennifer Sarpong

Undergraduate student, Emory University

“IDEAS is a small organization making a big impact by transforming thousands of lives internationally through training, microfinance, and development. You don’t necessarily need to be fluent in Spanish, have a degree in business, or travel to an office every day to make a difference here. The IDEAS staff is genuine, dedicated, and most of all flexible. Whatever your talents are, chances are they can be used to help IDEAS tangibly transform the world.”

Will Slack

Undergraduate student, Williams College

“IDEAS is a place where I was able to take what I had learned in college about developmental economics and apply it. However, I didn’t need any specific coursework to benefit from working at IDEAS. The flexibility in my work (often, my job was to create a product, not to follow any specific formula or practice) required a lot of creativity. If you are interested in development work, IDEAS will be a place where you can put your theories and classroom experience to good use.”

Tristan Mitchell

Howard University, B.A. Economics

“While at IDEAS I had freedom to branch out into areas of interest that appealed to me while working within the parameters of my specific projects.  I learned so much about international economic development, innovative microfinance and microfranchise organizational structures, and non-profits during my time with IDEAS.”

Maille Faughnan

Doctoral student, Tulane University

“This was my first experience working for an international non-profit, so it was a chance to apply concepts learned in the classroom to the real world.  But I also learned skills that only practical experience can give, such as teamwork, flexibility and creativity in project management, and research methods.  The materials that I created not only showcased my writing and professional interests, but informed others about IDEAS’ work and important development trends.”

Fabrizio Giustiniani

Undergraduate student, Emory University

“Having the desire to some day start a social enterprise in Costa Rica (my home country), my work with IDEAS definitely helped me improve certain practical skills like  research, teamwork, flexibility and communication. More importantly, it helped me develop the right mindset in order to understand and proactively pursue some of my personal projects related to social enterprise.”

Yilong Xu

Undergraduate student, Emory University

“I have always been interested in economic development in developing countries and working with international nonprofits, but have never had a hands-on experience until I started working with IDEAS. I was able to develop my research skills and gain the valuable experience I needed for further pursuit of the area of economic development and international nonprofit work. My experience at IDEAS was a great supplement to the courses I was taking at Emory at the time.”