One of the most rewarding things about our CIDA/ IYIP internship program is watching the impact our interns have through their projects. It’s amazing to hear their insights, and get fresh perspective through what they’ve learned. We then, as an organization, continue to learn and grow.
One or our interns, Barbara Dourley recently finished a 6-month SCI internship in Durban, South Africa. Her work there focused on the green economy. This is an article that appeared in the McGill faculty alumni newsletter on her work.
After graduating with a BCom degree from the Desautels Faculty in Management with a Major in General Management and a Concentration in International Development Studies, I knew I would be pursuing a career that would allow me to use my business education to contribute to sustainable development around the world. In January 2011, I began an internship at a Vancouver-based NGO, Sustainable Cities International, as part of the Canadian International Development Agency’s International Youth Internship Program. The internship has taken me to Durban, South Africa, where I have been working in the Durban Municipal Government’s Long-term Development Planning Office on projects seeking to advance Durban’s green economy.
My work in Durban has focused on helping youth acquire an understanding of green business and providing young people with the tools to initiate and manage green business ventures. This has included creating mentorship networks between youth and green leaders in the community, hosting green business education seminars, and designing project management training material and workshops for young people interested in starting their own green initiatives. Youth have the entrepreneurial capability to shape Durban’s developing economy, and equipped with the right skills they can help ensure that the city continues on the path toward a greener economy.
The global perspective and cross-cultural management skills that I developed during my time at Desautels and through interning at Sustainable Cities International have proven to be valuable professional assets. I have drawn heavily on my international business background to implement my projects in Durban. I look forward to seeing more business graduates combining their knowledge with a passion for international development, and contributing to a sustainable future.