Testimonials from Master's Students in Panama

nsvenson's picture
Panama City

Students earning their Master's degree in International Development from Payson are afforded the unique opportunity to participate in the Panama Field Work Experience, wherein they earn elective credits working as an intern for the United Nations Development Programme Regional Center for Latin America and the Carribean (UNDP throughout their two-semester term in Panama. In an earlier blog post, I reported about the internships our first cohort of students successfully completed in Fall 2015. Here are some amazing testimonials about the experience thus far from our students presently in Panama:

Rummanul Ferdous: 

Payson’s MS program in Panama is truly an exciting program for future international development leaders. Prior to joining Payson, I was looking for a program where I could gain practical experience and use my theoretical knowledge outside the classroom. Payson’s Panama field program was the only choice—no other Master’s of International Development incorporates such an extensive developing country work experience component. Needless to say, gaining hands-on experience with the UNDP is not only helping me to understand the UN system but is also preparing me for work in a range of different areas within the field of international development. Plus, it has helped me learn Spanish!

Stephanie Manciagli:

My experience starting my Master’s in International Development at Tulane through the Panama Field Work Experience program has been even better than I could have imagined. Through the internship component at the United Nations, I have been given challenging projects, which are directly applicable to the coursework I am taking and to future development work I will pursue after graduation. While the program demands time and commitment, it is still flexible enough to allow me to explore Panama. Panama is an amazing country, easy to navigate with boundless opportunities for exploration within and outside of the city. I would recommend this program to all International Development academics and professionals!

Sherrif Kora: 

As I entered my second year of grad school at the Payson Center, I was looking for an international internship that would be professionally and personally enriching. As such the Panama Field Experience seemed like a logical choice because it gave an opportunity for interning at the UNDP, obtaining developing world experience and learning an additional language.

One of he greatest joys and benefits of working at the UNDP regional offices is that there is no typical day. Work there exposes one to the rigors of meaningful development projects and smart dynamic people from different backgrounds. I was considered a peer from day one, and the willingness of my colleagues to help and to give additional assignments where necessary meant I was constantly challenged.

Like any new country, settling in Panama came with initial challenges; however, I saw this as a great learning experience as well. Panama also has all the facilities and modern amenities found in many big cities across the U.S. The social life was appealing to me and I found the networking opportunities at Ciudad del Saber great. As a country in transition, I found Panama to be a perfect microcosm where all the theories learned in the classroom are reinforced in real life. Given the option, I would do it all over again without hesitation.

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