Home

 

Getting Experience

- # of # Filtered -

Motivated In Madagascar

Q&A with Yannish: Interned in Madagascar
Share this
Print this
Yannish
Interned in Madagascar
University of Waterloo
His thoughts on The International Workplace
Persevere. Companies, while willing to help students, have other commitments that are much higher on their priority lists and perseverance will be your greatest asset. 
His thoughts on Adaptation
At first it was a challenge to communicate with the Malagasy employees, but I quickly realized that I’d be more successful if I made the effort to adapt.
His thoughts on The Right Attitude
I wasn’t afraid to travel, try new foods, or get my hands dirty helping the villagers.

Where did you intern abroad? What was your position?

I had the opportunity to travel to Madagascar to complete a three-week internship with Lecofruit, a subsidiary of a French conglomerate. The company specializes in the export of produce (mainly green beans) to France and various other countries around the world. As an intern, I was tasked with researching carbon methodologies currently available and comparing them to other methodologies (including the one that was being used by the company at the time). I had the opportunity to present my findings to the general manager on the last day of my internship.

What made you want to intern abroad?

I had completed an exchange semester in England prior to my trip to Madagascar, and wanted to extend my time abroad as much as possible.

What was the biggest surprise about your intern experience abroad?

I was pleasantly surprised by the high level of involvement I had with the workings of my company during the internship. During my first three days I shadowed an agricultural engineer, with whom I traveled to three different villages outside the capital of Antananarivo. Villages had no running water or electricity. Seeing them was an eye-opening experience, and one that I never would have had without the internship.

What made your experience abroad a success?

I was open to trying new things. Having lived abroad for the better part of five months, I was accustomed to foreign environments where I’d have to adapt and step out of my comfort zone. This mentality made my internship in Madagascar a huge success. I wasn’t afraid to travel, try new foods, or get my hands dirty helping the villagers.

What was the most important thing you learned about communicating in a foreign culture?

In the office where I was located, there was a mix of Malagasy and French employees; and their communication styles and responsiveness to communication were drastically different. At first it was a challenge to communicate with the Malagasy employees, but I quickly realized that I’d be more successful if I made the effort to adapt. It is important to realize that when you’re in a different country, you must change your approach in order to comply with its cultural guidelines. One thing I noticed was that Malagasy people tended to be a bit more easygoing and willing to rely on others to complete tasks, whereas the French employees were much more independent.

What is your number one tip for anyone hoping to follow in your footsteps?

Persevere. It is incredibly difficult for one person to organize an internship abroad. There are various factors to consider and things don’t always work out. Companies, while willing to help students, have other commitments that are much higher on their priority lists and perseverance will be your greatest asset.

What did you miss most about home?

Friends and family. I found it particularly difficult to maintain my focus, having been away for six months without seeing them. However, with Skype and other programs online, I did have the chance to talk to the people I care about. (Although this was not always simple, since Madagascar is not known for its technological connectivity!)

What are your future plans for going abroad and for your career?

I hope to complete an International Master’s in Business Administration (iMBA) in the near future, but I plan to work in France or a French-speaking African country (because I am fluent in French) first. This experience will add significant value to my application for the iMBA.

Advice from MyWorldAbroad
Jean-Marc Hachey, Publisher

Yannish had a front row seat to the realities of doing business in a developing country. His answers and reflections capture a number of the essential ingredients for being successful, including a willingness to step out of one's comfort zone. I particularly appreciated the insight: “Persevere. It is incredibly difficult for one person to organize an internship abroad. There are various factors to consider and things don’t always work out. Companies, while willing to help students, have other commitments that are much higher on their priority lists and perseverance will be your greatest asset.” This is so true, and I encourage anyone reading this to heed Yannish's advice. The value of time spent abroad is in what you learn in terms of cross-cultural communication skills, not in what you accomplish professionally during your first internship abroad. I encourage anyone in a similar position to stay focused on the goal of working in business in or with developing countries. Expand your cross-cultural skills, and be sure that you can articulate the specific challenges and benefits of the cross-cultural business environment.

  • Check out our section The North American Identity.
  • Also consider reviewing the resources in International Business Careers While the advice articles for this section are still under construction, there are two great Resource Lists: Cross-cultural Skills and International Trade Resources that will help you get a feel of the parameters of an international business career.
  • If you want to apply your business skills by working in a developing country, check out the articles and resources (especially NGO listings) in NGOs & International Development. Consider volunteering or interning with anyone of the numerous French NGOs headquartered in France, Belgium or Québec; we have extensive listings in all these areas.
Yannish's Application Documents
See how He got started.
Yannish's Next Steps
Advice from MyWorldAbroad
by the founder of MyWorldAbroad
Jean-Marc Hachey
Want to Have the Same Experience?
Want to Have the Same Experience?
Global Goes Virtual in 2020!
Check out the all-new Virtual International Internships section. More cross-cultural learning tools set for release soon!
Quizzes & Scorecard
Take these simple quizzes to assess your international skills, experiences & job search readiness!
9785
- # of # Filtered -
  • 92
92
15631
An International Career in the Making: Asia, Africa and Beyond
1
15644
Discovering the World on Campus: Building International Skills at Home
2
15387
Bliss on a Budget in Brazil
3
9753
A Season in Sweden
4
9765
Simpatico in Florence
5
9787
A Spring Semester in London
6
9807
Fast Friendship in Korea
7
9764
Do It Yourself! A Proactive Intern in Rome
8
9784
Skill-building in Bonn
9
14088
An Eye-opening Experience Teaching in South Korea
10
9741
Adapting to Work In Peru
11
11645
A Love Affair with Shanghai
12
9785
Motivated In Madagascar
13
11557
Un stage au Cambodge (Français)
14
9781
A Hospital Helper In Costa Rica
15
9779
One Summer, Two Internships!
16
9770
Contributing To Change In Ghana
17
9760
Getting In Sync In Nairobi
18
9759
From Cold Feet To Confidence In Germany
19
9758
Learning The Local Ways Of Addis Ababa
20
9746
A Cross-Cultural Co-Op In West Africa
21
9737
Passionate About Panama
22
10923
Insight And Education In Korea
23
9773
Independent In India
24
9767
Beyond The Call Of Duty In Africa
25
9742
Take-Charge Travel: Germany And Beyond!
26
9776
Soaking Up Japanese Culture
27
10204
Across Europe In A Caravan!
28
11468
Learning While Teaching in Beijing
29
11467
Stepping Outside the Box in Sweden!
30
10230
Getting Caffeinated In Bolivia
31
10145
Real Stories And Real People In Mexico
32
9771
Learning To Love London
33
11845
Hospitality and Hosting in the DCR
34
11996
Daring to Go Solo in Ireland
35
9762
American Freshman In London
36
12058
Architectural Adventures in Australia
37
9766
Short-Term Trips For Long-Term Gain
38
15327
An Open Mind & Open Arms in Spain
39
9803
Ten Years Teaching In Seoul
40
9769
Getting Sporty In Switzerland!
41
9791
Making Contacts Count In The UK
42
10851
Tips From Tasmania
43
15405
From Daydream to Reality: Teaching Abroad
44
15401
From Korea to Oman: Teaching English Around the World!
45
15383
Hustle and Bustle in Vietnam
46
15347
12 Months, 12 Countries!
47
15333
A Literary Education in the UK
48
14594
Growing Abroad: Hong Kong & South Korea
49
9799
Getting Settled In Seoul
50
10258
Encountering Cultures Across Europe
51
9772
Learning To Go With The Flow In France
52
10218
Adaptation And Appreciation In Japan
53
9786
Kids And Culture In Korea
54
9748
Adventure In The Alps
55
9788
Business And Pleasure In Australia
56
9744
Food, Fun And Festivals In Germany
57
9747
Fun And Friends In The Netherlands
58
9750
Host Hospitality In Morocco
59
9754
Building Memories In India
60
9752
Giving In Guatemala
61
9775
A Year Of Feeling French
62
9777
Into The Wild In Alaska
63
9812
Caring And Career Skills In Belize
64
10157
Changing Course In China
65
9740
Sports, Study And Fun In France
66
9778
Study And Adventure In New Zealand
67
9755
People, Places And Passionate Volunteering In Peru
68
9738
Living For The Moment In Valencia
69
11850
The Warmest Welcome in Guatemala
70
9783
Off The Beaten Path In Africa
71
9757
Teaching And Learning In Tanzania
72
9789
Loving Life In Lyon
73
9774
Gaga For Ghana!
74
9745
An Unforgettable Adventure In Nanjing
75
9792
Rolling With The Punches In Seoul
76
10188
Now Or Never In Colombia
77
11904
Enthusiasm, Education and Experience in Greece
78
9790
Design And Dining In Korea
79
10163
English Teaching In Eastern Europe
80
9768
Going Solo In Spain!
81
14483
Finding Home, By Teaching Abroad
82
9743
Hooked On Volunteering!
83
10153
China, South Africa And Beyond!
84
9751
A Canadian Globe-Trotter Visits The US
85
10192
Out And About In Paris
86
9780
A Year In Marvelous Mexico!
87
9761
Communicating Creatively In Spain
88
9782
Making The Most Of Milano
89
9756
Springtime In Spain
90
9763
A Professional Visit To Vietnam
91
10143
A Warm Welcome In Mexico
92
9785
All Job Boards
455
All NGOs
1421
Au Pair Resources
38
Awards And Grants Resources
51
Business Directories
18
Canadian Federal, Provincial And Territorial Government Profiles
60
Canadian Government Resources
28
Children And Families Abroad
16
Consulting, Economic And Finance Job Boards
62
Country Guides
69
Cross-cultural Skills
79
Engineering Job Boards
59
Engineering Resources
81
Expatriate Networking Sites
32
Foreign Students Working in the US
8
Freelancing Abroad
27
General Job Search Books
15
Global Education And Social Action
45
Health And Medicine Job Boards
48
Health Career Resources
66
International Associations With Clubs on Campus
45
International Development Career Resources
73
International Internship Organizations
309
International Internships And Student Programs With Canadian Governments
31
International Internships With The US Government
37
International Job Hunting Resources
13
International Law Careers Resources
112
International Law Job Boards
26
International Student Exchanges [under construction until 2020/08/30]
2
International Studies In The US And Canada
11
International Trade Resources
25
International Volunteer Organizations
498
Internship Directories And Advice
36
Internships With The UN And Other IGOs
158
Language Careers
30
Learn A Language
106
Licensed Teacher Abroad Job Boards
28
Licensed Teacher Abroad Resources
31
Loans for Studying Abroad
18
Low-cost Travel
62
NGO Directories
33
NGO Job Boards
46
Re-entry
12
Regional Job Boards
102
Relocating Abroad
27
Resources For International Students Studying In Canada
19
Resources For International Students Studying In The US
42
Stories From Abroad
92
Study Abroad Resources
186
Teach English Abroad Job Boards
99
Teach English Abroad Resources
64
Tools for Travelers
72
Top International Blogs & Podcasts
84
Travel Health And Safety
38
UN and Other IGOs
271
UN And Other IGOs Job Boards
26
UN And Other IGOs Resources
73
US Government Profiles
76
US Government Resources
36
Virtual International Internship Organizations
62
Visas and Passports
24
Volunteer Directories And Advice
49
Women Living And Working Overseas
18
Working Holiday Resources
73