My Summer Internship!

Hello! As the semester is in full swing, I thought it would be the perfect time to reflect on my summer internship at Fundación Emplea in Santiago, Chile. The mission of Fundación Emplea is to support adults in situations of poverty and social exclusion who are unemployed and who want jobs, strengthening their skills in order to be included in employment and expand their life opportunities. The focus of Fundación Emplea is labor intermediation between businesses and vulnerable populations such as immigrants, people with disabilities, people in recovery from alcohol and drug addictions, and single mothers. Ultimately, it promotes labor inclusion as the main way to eliminate poverty and empower people.


Fundación Emplea was founded in 1997 and is one of four organizations under Hogar de Cristo (“Home of Christ”). Hogar de Cristo was founded in 1944 by Father Alberto Hurtado, who was very much focused on social justice and lifting up the most marginalized populations. The foundation’s ideology is based on religion but is simply an approach to the world that recognizes the dignity of every individual regardless of life circumstances. Because of the work, I did for my internship, my SIP has morphed into “Labor inclusion and intermediation as a form of poverty reduction in the neoliberal context of Chile.”


One of my repeated tasks was editing and uploading the foundation’s blog posts about past participants that are now working (“success stories”). I also posted the blogs to our LinkedIn page. One of my favorite tasks was planning the activities for the monthly breakfasts. These are one hour every month where most of the members of our team in the building get together to share, bond, and eat. I had free reign to think of any theme and activities that I wanted. The first month I planned activities based on cards from a game that Hogar de Cristo designed. The second month we did a “getting to know you” game in which people had to find three things every member of their small group had in common and two things that were unique to each person in their group. After that, we shared as a large group. The third breakfast, I designed a Taboo® game specifically related to the foundation and to Chile. Through this role, I had the chance to truly explore my creative side.


Another task I did was research best practices for alumni networks and design a plan for an alumni network for the foundation. Along similar lines, I researched best practices and helped design a mentoring program between volunteers and participants of a labor reinsertion course. Other tasks included: adding volunteers to the online database, interviewing participants of courses, planning English courses, and designing posters. Also, I had the opportunity to attend many meetings, events, and workshops, which I thoroughly enjoyed.