Marketing Intern – Elise Fjordbakk
By Elise Fjordbakk
When I first found out I was actually going to Cochabamba to work as a Marketing Intern at Sustainable Bolivia (SB) earlier this year, I wasn’t sure what to expect. But after four months of getting to work alongside great colleagues, making new friends from all over the world and travelling throughout Bolivia, I know for sure I would go back in a heartbeat.
As the Marketing and Social Media Intern for Sustainable Bolivia my main responsibilities included managing all social media platforms, writing and editing blogs on volunteer stories, partner organisations as well as cultural events in Cochabamba, and managing online job listings. My favourite thing about the internship was that I got the opportunity to tailor it to my interests; during my time in Cochabamba I also got to do a lot of photography and create several videos for SB and partner organisations. This meant travelling to several of the organisations, and also around Cochabamba to shoot, interview and get to know the network of grassroots organisations that SB works with and the people behind them, in addition to working in the Sustainable Bolivia office.
In my role I had a lot of freedom, which meant that I from day one had to take charge and organise myself effectively, but I always felt supported by the rest of the team at SB. Working at SB was to me an invaluable experience in a professional working environment, as I from the very beginning felt valued as a fully fledged staff member. Working alongside amazing staff members, drinking endless cups of coffee and cooking up some great lunches; after no time at all I felt that my colleagues were also my friends.
One of the main skills I took away from working at SB was the improvement in my Spanish. By translating job listings and participating in meetings I was able to use and improve my language skills quickly. I still remember how I nerviously stuttered my way through our first staff meetings, but after a while I was helping out with translation and really felt confident with my Spanish. Doing lessons with the SB Language School and being able to practice every day definitely made a huge difference.
Day hike – Pico Tunari
I didn’t just work, but also live, in SB’s main house and office for four months. Living where you work might seem a bit overwhelming at first, but living in an amazing environment of volunteers and like-minded people was a great experience. As any seasoned SB volunteer can tell you, Casa P is the hub of SB, with its kitchen and amazing garden being the scene of weekly shared dinners, language exchanges, workshops on everything from urban composting systems to Bolivian politics and cultural events on Bolivian traditions.
Weekend trip to Toro Toro National Park
Living in Cochabamba was great. The city in itself is neatly located in the middle of Bolivia, and it’s a great place to go travelling from. Together with other volunteers I ventured to Pico Tunari, Toro Toro national park, Sucre, the mines in Potosí and the renowned Salt Flats in Uyuni.
If you are interested in marketing, communications, photography or film, doing an internship with Sustainable Bolivia is a great way to develop your skills and get professional working experience, whilst also getting the opportunity to live in a new and exciting place, practice Spanish and meet people from different backgrounds.
The only regret I have is that I didn’t stay for longer.
- Are you seeking a unique opportunity to gain professional experience in an international environment supporting grassroots NGOs? Sustainable Bolivia offers Marketing Internships for periods of 3 to 12 months. If you are interested in applying or would like to find out more, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or complete an online application form -