Information for Internship Supervisors
The Puentes Experience
Puentes builds bridges to connect undergraduate students and recent graduates with professional and cultural opportunities in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The core component of the Puentes experience is an engaging internship at a high-performing nonprofit, business, or government agency in Buenos Aires, with meaningful work and close supervision. The internship is complemented by personalized professional development, engaging cultural activities, and constant support for the students before, during, and after the Puentes adventure. Puentes seeks to shape global citizens who bring an international perspective to their spheres of work and influence.
The focus of the internship is a keystone project, which the intern leads and concludes over the duration of the internship. The keystone project should be designed to directly contribute to one of the organization’s key work areas so that the intern gains real experience and know-how through substantial, mission-driven work while the internship site benefits from the valuable, targeted work output. Interns may work full-time or part-time. The duration of the internship varies according the intern’s availability and the preferences of the internship site, but typically internships are at least eight weeks. Interns are not paid.
The Matching Process
Puentes customizes internship options according to applicants’ professional interests and goals. Based upon the student’s application materials and an initial phone conversation with Puentes staff, Puentes refers the student to up to three internship sites. Puentes shares with the potential internship sites the student’s resume, as well as letters of recommendation or a personal statement. The applicant interviews by phone or Skype with each internship site. The Puentes staff then collects the student’s preferences and the internship site preferences. Puentes notifies applicants where there is a match in preferences. Upon receiving an internship offer, the student will have up two weeks to accept or decline the position. When a placement is confirmed, Puentes reconnects the student with the confirmed internship site supervisor to complete a Commitment Form to outline goals, expectations, and details for the internship so that all expectations are aligned before the internship begins.
The Role of the Internship Site Supervisor
To be considered as a Puentes internship site, the organization or business must complete an Internship Description Form, which outlines potential keystone projects and areas of work. Upon receiving application packets for interested students, the internship site interviews potential interns and provides the Puentes staff with feedback. Where there is a match, the internship supervisor completes a Commitment Form with the intern. Puentes expects that that internship supervisor provide adequate supervision, meaningful work, and performance feedback throughout the internship. Puentes staff will conduct an initial meeting with the intern and supervisor during the first days of the internship to review together the project work plan. Then Puentes staff will return to the internship office to conduct a mid-internship site visit to provide a space to communicate learnings, challenges, successes, and goals. At the end of the internship, the intern and internship supervisor will have a closing meeting to reflect on your internship experience, and the internship supervisor will complete a brief, written evaluation of the intern’s work.
Why work with a Puentes intern?
Organizations and businesses that work with Puentes interns receive many benefits. First, they will have an enthusiastic and skilled young person to help them complete timely and important projects. Second, the organization will participate in a rewarding program that helps undergraduate students and recent graduates gain valuable professional experience, while becoming immersed in a new culture. Third, the organization will meet talented young people who foster cultural exchange in the office and who could be future employees.