This is the fifth entry in our recap of summer internships completed by SIPA students working in the Admissions Office this year.  Beatriz Guillén is a second year student concentrating in Economic and Political Development. 


How to do an Internship, get married, and go on your honeymoon in the same summer

Photo BeatrizI am originally from Spain but have worked and studied in Italy, Mexico and Venezuela, which can be a prototypical profile of a SIPA student. This summer I add an additional international component to my life, and married a Salvadorian Dow Jones correspondent who, oddly enough, is also at SIPA doing a dual degree with the Journalism school.

But I also had time to do my internship. I worked for Enterprise Solutions to Poverty (ESP) an organization based in New York City that mobilizes leading corporations and emerging entrepreneurs to build competitive and inclusive growth strategies that engage large numbers of low-income people as suppliers, distributors and consumers. ESP’s goal is to support companies in increasing the income and assets of over of low-income people. I started working at ESP a few hours a week since last February, and then began working full time during the summer.

While working at ESP I focused on agribusiness, decentralized distribution, financial products and profitable social services. Over the last four years, ESP has mobilized the leaders of over 150 large companies and entrepreneurs in India, China, Mexico and Colombia, with activities initiated in Kenya and Brazil. Part of my work at ESP included:

  • Working on a range of rural finance initiatives in China, including work with China Mobile and the Agricultural Bank of China on building out rural payments and banking in China.
  • Developed fruit and vegetable initiatives with leading agribusinesses in Colombia.
  • Was part of the team that worked with Novartis in financing rural health providers in Novartis’ massive Arogya Parivar rural health initiative in India.

For someone that had never worked before in the United States, working in New York was a challenging experience. Moreover, working in development with the private sector gave me a new perspective on how to tackle with development problems and find innovative solutions.  I didn’t have the opportunity to travel during my internship, but since I worked with Colombia, China, and India I sometimes had to adjust my working hours to those of our partners in different countries!

Overall, I can say that the experience was great and helped me a lot in my career.

Although I didn’t travel with my internship, I traveled to my hometown, Barcelona (Spain), as I said, to get married. Yes, it is possible to combine your personal life with your studies and with an internship. I started working in my internship in February so that I could take a month of for the wedding and the honeymoon. The wedding was great with people from all around the world. After the wedding we flew to Sicily and spent a couple of weeks traveling around the island enjoying the food and visiting ancient Greek ruins, medieval towns and enjoying the beaches.

These are some of the pictures from the trip to Sicily.

bgbp1San Vito Lo Capo




Monreale Monastery