Written by Sage Corps 2017 alumnus, Jack Bosworth.
The decision to intern abroad through Sage Corps was one of the best decisions I made in college. The experience I had was incredibly valuable, and certainly a big factor in leading me to where I am today.
Why sage Corps?
Before my Sage Corps 2017 summer, I was a junior at Texas Christian University studying Entrepreneurial Management. At TCU, I was lucky to have had the opportunity to travel and study abroad several times before. When it came time to find an internship for the summer, I thought I would be getting a typical corporate experience like many of my peers. When I discovered Sage Corps, however, I instantly knew I wanted to be a part of their global internship program. Entrepreneurship was something I became very interested in, plus traveling globally was a passion of mine. For these two areas to align together in one internship opportunity - that was something I could not pass up.
On the ground
My Sage Corps summer fellowship took place in Singapore. I chose to intern in Southeast Asia for several reasons. First, I wanted to go somewhere unfamiliar, and since I’d been to Europe recently to study abroad, Singapore was a unique and exciting option. The second reason was because Singapore is at the forefront of cutting edge technology and entrepreneurship. There’s an incredible amount of opportunity and energy in Singapore, and I wanted to experience it firsthand.
After, literally, one of the longest flights in the world, I arrived in Singapore. There are many unique things I can talk about in describing this city - the history, the culture, the technology, even the future - but something that can’t be described enough is the food. Singapore is one of the best places in the world for food lovers. Its multicultural make-up means Singapore has dishes from almost every part of Asia. Everyone eats at food courts called hawker centers where there’s a variety of meals to choose from. The best part is, even though Singapore is notoriously a very expensive city, hawker centers have ridiculously good food that’s ridiculously cheap. An average meal costs between $3-$5. That being said, this was one of my favorite parts of Singapore and where our cohort spent a lot of time together.
Professionally, the internship I had was unbeatable. I worked for a startup called billionBricks. billionBricks is a non-profit design studio that creates sustainable housing solutions to solve homelessness around the world but mainly focusing on India and Southeast Asia. My roles included marketing, business development, and strategy. Specifically, I helped implement a marketing campaign at the beginning of the internship and then focused on developing corporate partnerships during the rest of my time. I was even able to work with companies like IBM. I learned an incredible amount about social entrepreneurship while at the same time building valuable soft and hard skills.
The Sage Corps programming also added to my experience. Our cohort got to know each other really well and some of us traveled to other Southeast Asian destinations like Malaysia, Cambodia, and Thailand - certainly unforgettable weekends. In addition, our city manager coordinated professional events that really stood out. Some of the more memorable events were our meetings with local Venture Capitalists as well as our meeting with Singaporean Government Officials. These events offered unrivaled insight into the current state of Singapore and really opened my eyes to how successful the city is at fostering innovation. Singapore is definitely one of the top tech hubs in the world and it was an exciting time to be there.
Where is he now?
Overall, my Sage Corps experience was tremendously impactful in leading me to where I am today. I recently graduated from TCU in May and I’m currently the program manager for a startup accelerator in Austin, TX. Being involved in the startup ecosystem during my Sage Corps summer was very inspiring and something I wanted to continue after I graduated, and I found an exciting opportunity to manage a startup accelerator program focused on social impact. My day to day involves working directly with startups and, just as exciting, the larger organization my program is affiliated with is based in Paris and has programs in 25 cities across 4 continents. Similar to Sage Corps, I’m now connected with a global network focused on fostering entrepreneurship. Sage Corps and my internship with billionBricks absolutely set me up for success and provided a solid foundation for being able to take on new challenges. It required a lot of hard work and a willingness to take risks, but the experience I had was incomparable and I would highly recommend it.
Interning abroad provides invaluable experience that employers love to see. Join the less than 1% of college students gaining international work experience today.