Summer Internship Series: My First Step Into the Real World

Eizo Lang-Ezekiel ’19

University of Toulouse, Toulouse, France

My name is Eizo Lang-Ezekiel, I am a junior and Political Science major with a Spanish minor. This blog post addresses my experience interning with the University of Toulouse in France this past summer. While the title translated to “Intern to help build international partnerships”, I was actually more of a floater in the team I worked in. This 8-person team was in charge of organizing the 2018 EuroScience Open Forum, which is a European biennial event on science and innovation organized by EuroScience. Each edition is held in a different European city and it is scheduled to take place in Toulouse next summer.

My first goal was to develop skills and gain experience in my field, which is Political Science. I had originally planned to double major with International Studies and although I cannot do this, I still want to add an international dimension to my major. My internship helped me gain knowledge on some of the European, French and regional institutions, which could be useful if I go back to work there. It was also a success because I had some tasks relating to international relations. During the most memorable day of my internship, I accompanied one of my supervisors on an international meeting. Three English persons flew to Toulouse to discuss ESOF 2018 and find out more about its logistics. I supported him with my language skills, helped promote ESOF and the city of Toulouse during the day. I also researched international organizations that could be interested in participating in ESOF and contacted them.

My second goal was to have a professional experience that would boost my confidence and prepare me for when I need to look for a job after college (or after grad school). This is the aspect in which my internship was most successful. I was unsure about what to expect going in on my first day and I quickly realized that I was going to have a lot of independence and real responsibilities. This was both challenging and intimidating, but it was a good thing. It allowed me to progress, gain the confidence and approval of my supervisors which made their complements even more satisfying.

Ultimately, aside from what I previously mentioned, the internship was successful because I learned skills that I will be able to apply to my work in college and in my professional life. For instance, I improved my skills with Word and Excel. I also gained experience in fields unrelated to my studies, notably in Communications and Marketing, but I believe this could be useful as well.