The Big Picture

By Austin Reno, Programs and Services Intern

Every member of The International Center has their own story. A story that they have written over time, a story that they have gathered from various parts of the world, and a story that somehow connects with each of us in some way. You know, traveling creates a unique and special dynamic that is only relatable with people who have also “been there and done that”. What I mean by this is that there is a mentality, an attitude, and a passion to discover something other than what we are used to. When two people discover that they share a mutual traveling experience or moment, a special bond between them is immediately established.

This is absolutely related to The International Center because its staff and interns come from all over the world, but are now working collaboratively in one setting. This relationship, I believe, speaks to what The Center is all about. Moreover, it shows that genuine relationships with people from miles apart can come together and have a meaningful impact on the world. I think I speak for all of us here at The International Center when I say that we have experienced a special moment in time that literally changed the course of our future. This moment gave us a new view of life and perspective about the “big picture”. 

As the Programs and Services intern under Martin Baier, I have been introduced to the “big picture” and have seen the collaboration from the staff and interns, as well as grown into a much more marketable professional after only two months here. I have also seen positive changes in myself. First, I learned how to manage my time and become as efficient as possible. Since I am here in small chunks, I have to finish my projects (such as country databases) as timely as possible, but with a high level of quality. Even with three years of college under my belt, this has been an area that I have been sub-par in. For this, I couldn’t be more fortunate to have projects which challenged a previous weakness and turned them into a productive strength.

Second, have learned about office dynamics. I have never worked in an office setting before and this experience has taught me that efficiency, collaboration, teamwork, effective communication, and consistency are all components that make an individual and an organization successful. However, the important thing is that I was not told that these components are essential for success; I observed it. I saw the staff exhibiting them and learned from seeing. These five components, to me, are what sets a successful organization apart from a mediocre one.

Finally, I have learned, even more so, how important relationships and connections are. Connections create relationships and relationships create opportunities. As interns we are receiving these opportunities and connections. It is now important for us to do something with them.
The past two months have been a constant learning experience. From researching countries and businesses that have ties in Indiana, attending a luncheon in honor of the Archduke of Austria visit, or helping other departments with country briefings, every task I partake in has created valuable learning experiences.

Let’s continue to do to great things for the remainder of our internship and até logo gente!

até logo gente = “See you later” in Portuguese