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Sae Kobayashi joined EWI as a part-time internship through our partnership with the Washington Center this past fall. She recently returned to her home in Japan and shared the following reflection upon her return to university.

Since I was raised in different countries, I have always been interested in working internationally with people not only from Japan. I believe that social problems can only be solved when many people from different background come together and work together, despite their differences.

As a university student studying International Development in Japan, I developed an interest in women and children’s empowerment through my studies. I was very excited at the prospect of working with Empowered Women International because of its global vision for women. It is something I absolutely believe in. I was also interested in learning about how a nonprofit organization works, and how it uses its skills to empower women, thus making a positive impact on society.

Before I came to EWI, I was very nervous and a little excited. As a university student from Japan, it was my first time being in a professional environment in the United States and I was worried if I would be able to contribute to the organization. EWI was open to me from the first day. Even though I was nervous and shy, I knew this place would help me learn and grow to my next professional level.

During my internship as a Development Associate, I learned a lot about how nonprofit organizations work, specifically through donor and grant management. I was not just treated as a short-term intern, but as a true part of EWI. I was given chances to work on not only the responsibilities affiliated with my title, but other elements related to the organization.

During my experience, I attended many events and met students and graduates of EWI. I was inspired by how EWI’s staff believes in their vision, and how that belief empowers the students and entrepreneurs. These entrepreneurs began to recognize in themselves a strength previously known, something they discovered through empowerment.

That itself inspired me and encouraged me to work harder to make such an impact.
Before I came here, I was always worried, and unsure of myself. I am still working on it, but through this experience, I learned skills and knowledge that I wanted to acquire. One of them being confidence. Not only that, but I learned more about myself and what I can improve on. I am thankful to EWI and everyone who was a part of the organization for this inspirational experience. I am empowered!

What I Learned at My EWI Internship: Sae Kobayashi
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