Hello everyone, I am Erika Evatt and I am a 2021-2022 Gilman Alumni Ambassador. I completed a virtual internship in Tokyo, Japan during the Summer of 2021.
In my last blog, I gave a brief introduction to my online internship and discussed the friendship I developed with a coworker. In this blog, I want to further explain how winning the Gilman Scholarship has impacted my career.
I was awarded the Benjamin A. Gilman scholarship in 2021 and due to COVID restrictions, I decided to do an online internship with a non-profit called YouMeWe located in Tokyo, Japan last May.
“YouMeWe is a Tokyo-based non-profit organization that is solely dedicated to nurturing and supporting local students from institutionalized homes. For a decade, our NPO’s mission is to assist students in becoming fully independent as they reach the age of 18, such as gaining financial literacy.”
My internship was 6 weeks long where I helped from writing short blogs to working with other interns to write a white paper to the Japanese Government. After my 6 weeks at YouMeWe, I decided to extend my time there and now I work as a Volunteer and Recruitment Manager.
I did not know that having an online internship would help me with my career as much as it did. I started my internship 2 days after I graduated from Ohio State University. I was not sure what I really wanted to do in life. All I knew was that I liked Japan and wanted to do something there. This is when I found out about diplomacy. I looked at the requirements for getting a job in diplomacy and saw a master’s degree was required so I applied for graduate school. The only problem was that I did not have a competitive GPA and I did not have enough time to take the GRE. I was worried that I wouldn’t succeed in getting accepted into a graduate school.
In my application, I described working with YouMeWe and how I found my true passion. A few weeks later I was accepted into the University of Illinois Urbana- Champaign, to pursue a degree in business management.
YouMeWe has allowed me to gain new experiences and these experiences would not have been possible without the help of the Gilman Scholarship. I hope that the Gilman Scholarship can last for many years to come so other students like myself can grow not just professionally, but find their purpose in life.