Written by Sage Corps 2016 alumna, Noa Monheimer.
Why Sage Corps?
Traveling and food have always been two of my favorite parts of life, but I never dreamed that at 20 years old I would have the opportunity to intern in Dublin, Ireland for DropChef, a company that provided nutritious prepped meals and donated meals to children in need. As a sophomore economics major at the University of Pennsylvania, I was worried about finding a summer internship since traditional business internships were more for juniors. I, like many of my peers, had been aggressively applying to every internship I could find, hoping to work for a company that ignited my passions in a role that I could potentially see myself in after college. Luckily, I found Sage Corps. Everyone at Sage Corps who I interviewed with and talked to was helpful, honest, and cared about my experiences. Working abroad was something I always wanted to do since both my parents had before I was born, and it seemed like such an incredible growth and learning experience both personally and professionally. Sage Corps made this goal of mine possible while still in college – something I never imagined happening.
On the Ground
While in Dublin, I worked for DropChef – the Irish version of Blue Apron, GreenChef, etc. that also donated a meal to a child in Africa for every meal they sold. Nutrition and community service are two important aspects of my life, so Sage Corps matched me excellently. For DropChef, I worked on strategic marketing via partnership campaigns with other local Irish businesses and launched a weekly blog with topics ranging from correct cooking oils at specific temperatures to best hikes in the Dublin area to healthiest summer cocktails. For my blogs, I interviewed local experts on the matters that I found through research and asked them if they would feature my posts on their social media pages and email lists to spread the word about DropChef since I spoke about their companies positively and indirectly did marketing for them.
My experiences with Sage Corps and DropChef taught me to be confident in my abilities to both navigate a foreign city on my own and in my ideas in the workplace. Just because I was an intern did not mean that my ideas weren’t as valuable – this is something that a lot of larger US companies struggle with for interns in that intern projects are not always that useful to the company. However, with DropChef, I could the see the tangible results of my blog posts and new partnerships with other local Irish companies. In addition to the internship, the Sage Corps weekly programming events were a great way to feel involved in the startup ecosystem in Dublin. I still receive emails from certain groups who put on the events and enjoy learning about what is going on two years later. I am still in touch with a few of the other fellows from Dublin on occasion and hope to reconnect with them more soon.
While in Dublin, my cohort was extremely close – we made dinner, visited pubs, and explored many other parts of Ireland during our eight weeks there. My favorite weekend trips we did were taking the Dart, a local train, to various small beach towns no more than an hour away from Dublin. They were all so beautiful, full of culture, and a great break from the larger city. Hiking in the Wicklow Mountains was also an incredible Saturday activity that all ten of us went on. Most importantly, my friends and Sage Corps staff were there for me when I truly needed it – when I had to have an emergency appendectomy in Dublin. The Sage Corps international medical insurance worked great and the visits and support from the Sage Corps country manager and my friends made my hospital stay and recovery as easy and pleasant as possible. I ended up only missing a week of work due to the surgery. Nothing makes you feel like an adult quite like having emergency surgery and navigating a foreign hospital system without your parents!
Where is She Now?
Sage Corps helped me stand out during recruiting for my junior year internship in Product Management at Verizon and my full-time job after college as Procurement Analyst at Nike. No other applicants had global work experience apparently, and that was something two large global enterprises liked a lot. My global perspective of understanding the nuances of how companies conduct business across the world, and the scrappy and determined startup mentality I developed are key aspects of what my time at DropChef and living in Dublin taught me. Both my internship at Verizon and my job at Nike were my first-choice positions during the recruiting processes, and I strongly believe that my Sage Corps experience gave me the skills, experience, and most importantly, confidence in myself to secure the positions.
Interning abroad provides invaluable experience that employers love to see. Join the less than 1% of college students gaining international work experience today.