July 27, 2012
Bobby Stuebi '12 is interning with As Green As It Gets, a non-profit organization in San Miguel Escobar, Guatemala, that focuses on economic development and environmentally sustainable agriculture. Bobby is gaining first-hand experience in non-profit organization management, as well as meeting many Guatemalan entrepreneurs. Stuebi has been working at his internship with fellow Knox grad Annika Paulsen, '12.
Can you briefly explain your internship?
The goal of [As Green As It Gets] is to empower Guatemalan entrepreneurs, finding them money as well as marketing and selling their products. While we focus on coffee, we also have entrepreneurs who do artisan work, like making bags, jewelry, and cosmetics. I am a sales and marketing intern, so I will be trying to market and sell the products. However, I will also be fundraising, helping write grants, working on farms, etc.
Describe your day-to-day experiences so far.
Well I have only been here for a couple days, but it's basically a 9-5 job. We will be working on different projects throughout the week, whether it's contacting coffee shops, grant writing, or updating social media. We are just a 3 Quetzales (40 cent) chicken bus ride (the public transport) from Antigua, where we often go to eat and walk around. We are taking Spanish classes there as well.
What are some of the Knox classes that will help you during this internship?
The Urban Agriculture class I took will be extremely beneficial to my work, I believe. In addition, the Marketing and Society class is expected to be helpful, as well as several economics classes. (Image Above: Bobby Stuebi takes a drink of locally grown coffee in Guatemala. Image Below: Bobby in the yellow kayak paddles out during some down time at his internship in Guatemala.)
How do you think this internship experience will benefit you in terms of your education, future career plans, personal development, etc.?
I expect this internship to be very beneficial in my career plans, but even more so for my personal development. Since we are a new and small organization, I am doing tasks that are typically more advanced than the tasks given out at normal internships. I am connecting directly with entrepreneurs and coffee shops, contacting potential clients, and writing grants. This experience will undoubtedly assist me in my career.
What has been the best part of your internship?
Aside from the great people I work with, the coolest part is seeing the effect our organization has had on the lives of the Guatemalan entrepreneurs. I went on a coffee tour set up by As Green As It Gets and was able to talk to Daniel, one of the Guatemalan farmers that we support. He explained how much the organization has helped him and his family earn money. In addition to helping him, we sell burlap bags made by his wife and daughter, and they have sold more than 5,000 bags, helping the family even more. It's rewarding to actually see what the organization has done.
What inspired you to pursue the internship?
I wanted to do something different. Everyone always says they would do this kind of thing if they had time, and for me, now is the perfect time. When I found the job listing, I knew that it was something that I would really enjoy doing. I had spent a week in Guatemala a couple years ago, and I loved it so much that I knew I wanted to go back.
What do you expect to gain from the internship?
I expect to learn much about fundraising, as well as marketing and selling products. I also expect to learn more about the culture in Guatemala while living in San Miguel Escobar. In just a few days I've learned a lot, and I'm hoping to learn quite a bit more.