Institute for Cultural Diplomacy

Internship Testimonials 2012

Alberto Aznar Traval

Internship Dates: October 2012 - June 2013

The first time I heard about the ICD was almost one year ago, when I was finishing the university and I was trying to figure out what to do after my studies. And, then, looking for a job opportunity in a international leading organization, I´ve found something called ´Institute for Cultural Diplomacy´, with headquarters in Berlin.

I´ve been part of the ICD during the last 9 months and all of what I can say is 'Thanks'. Thanks to the ICD staff for the opportunity to work in such an interesting and exciting place. Thanks to the speakers, politicians, ambassadors and professors that were participating in our conferences and offering us new approaches about different problems and questions of our time. And, last but not least, thanks to the other interns and volunteers that I´ve the pleasure to work with, whose after this time working together are not just colleagues of work, they are real friends.

After my experience here, I just can wish the best to the ICD family and I hope they will continue talking, discussing and reflecting about Cultural Diplomacy, International Relations, Human Rights, etc. for a long time, and being a joining point for people from different countries and cultures from all over the world.

Alex Hannah

Internship Dates: September 2012 - January 2013

What attracted me to the Institute for Cultural Diplomacy was its outstanding reputation as a world leading organization in an exciting new field of study and I can with certainty that my experience has far exceeded my expectation. 

I feel that this internship is remarkable in three aspects; firstly the access that interns can gain to an impressive array of prominent individuals from the fields of politics, academia and the arts. The ICD actively encourages and supports its interns to develop their own Human Rights initiatives, giving them access to its extensive range of contacts and thirdly its location in the heart of Berlin, a vibrant and dynamic city rich in history and culture.

My internship has given me the chance to explore a variety of roles, allowing me develop valuable skills that employers look for, such as; online and telemarketing, research design and implementation, reporting and the confidence and interpersonal skills to deal with high profile figures.

I have nothing but the highest praise for all my colleagues, who helped create a very special work place. In my 5 months at the ICD I had the pleasure to meet some truly fascinating and delightful individuals.

Alix Lang

Internship Dates: November 2012 - March 2013

"Let sit down and talk… about the ICD and my internship"

I've been part of the ICD during 5 months. My internship has been a great and inspiring experience. As mentioned in different testimonials, through the ICD I've learned a lot and found what I was looking for: a first practical and enriching experience to complete my studies in international relations. From making the coffee to interviewing a President I've learned how to : implement marketing strategies, conduct reports and research's, prepare interviews, organize events in general, interact with high personalities …. And one of the Highlights of my internship has been definitely the Annual Conference.

My internship was not only a professional but also a human experience. I'd really like to thank the eclectic and original managing team, ICD directors and co-founders, and add a special thanks to all the interns that made my internship so special!

Finally I want to remind that ICD is an International Organization that has the courage to defend and propose an alternative way of making diplomacy where not only governments but also civil society has an important role to play.

For all this reasons I'd really like to express my sincere gratitude to the ICD and all his members and wish you all the best for the future!

Andreea Peptine

Internship Dates: October 2012 - January 2013

I chose this internship at the ICD because it is a unique organisation with unparalleled goals in using cultural diplomacy in the fight for justice, peace and human rights. What attracted me most to the ICD was its exclusive multicultural team of young enthusiastic people as myself. It was here where I have gained valuable experience in planning and running international conferences which hosted the most distinguished guests this world has to offer.

I was most impressed to have been given a lot of responsibility in a short amount of time and what made the internship a wonderful experience was the trust and the flexibility given to the interns and their work. At the ICD I was given the chance to work with different teams such as the Human Rights Team and the Centre for Cultural Diplomacy Studies Team and I managed to pursue my own interests in researching human rights and focusing on gender awareness projects.

Having lived and worked in Berlin surely was a unique and fruitful experience and the networking and friends I have made during this time, are the most valuable outcome of my internship.

Anna Ostafiychuk

Internship Dates: September 2012 - June 2013

The internship I have undertaken at the Institute for Cultural Diplomacy has proven to be an invaluable experience for me, and is certainly a great stepping stone after recent graduation. The ICD has a vivid international, melting pot-like working environment in its purest way, where great friends are found next to important networking contacts for the future.

Moreover, the ICD enables to understand and experience the daily functioning of a non-governmental organization from its very core. For me, this has meant dealing with the management and administrative issues, while working at the area where talking to embassies becomes a daily routine.

However, this routine is an exciting one, for you never know who will be the next person to call or to get in contact with - is it a prospective intern or a President and head of states. Adding this all up and putting Berlin into the ICD equation, makes me conclude that this internship is certainly a rewarding undertaking!

Artur Holavin

Internship Dates: September 2012 - February 2013

"Looking back over my last 5 months, I have no doubt that my internship at the ICD was useful and interesting.

First of all, I was working in various projects and teams. So I really experienced various aspects of the ICD. Among other tasks, I was able to write articles, to do research on sensitive and important topic of women rights, organize events both for international guest and Berlin-based youngsters. Managers and directors were very helpful and positive about initiatives and personal activism.

Secondly, I was able to work on building trust and facilitating mutual understanding of people all around the world. Various cultural events and incredible conferences were the places to do it. One of the most impressive thing to happen to me in the ICD was Annual Conference, when 80 high profile guests and over 100 participants all over the world came to our organization to discuss most important issues of 2012. Let's say, such topics as genocide prevention, civil wars, gender equality and economic crisis were covered by debates of professionals.  I was able to learn more from practioneers of state and non-governmental sectors of international relations.

Apart of it, I learned a lot on structure of political elites and recent history of various countries by working on databases. Furthermore, networking with huge advisory board of ICD is a great asset for my future career.  Even routine tasks of raising awareness were actually really appropriate for real-life knowledge on marketing, social media communication and PR.

Furthermore, all amazing interns I had luck to get know enriched my life with fun, happiness and wisdom. It was great to meet so many new people all around Europe and to work closely together with them!  I would like to express my sincere gratitude to my supervisors in CCDS and Press team too.

To conclude, it was amazingly spent autumn and winter in Berlin!"

Cassia Casagrande

Internship Dates: November 2012 - February 2013

I am very happy to have done a three month internship at the ICD in Berlin. In fact, through that I could meet lots of interesting people from all over the world which, through their stories and shared experiences, have consistently enriched me.

In addition, I am also happy to have done an internship at the ICD, since this gave me the possibility to work on a topic that is for me of great interest: multiculturalism, and to learn on how cultural diplomacy works in practice.

Finally this internship has given me the possibility to live in Berlin, a wonderful and complete city which offers a lot.

Cassie Yusofi

Internship Dates: October - December 2012

I had no concrete expectations before I began my internship at the ICD, because I had never stepped into the working world before. I was thinking I would have to write reports on legal issues and perhaps translate some text. But the ICD experience is more than just office work, you are invited to engage in personal contact with important speakers, organize a conference if you think that there is a need for it, and get to know about subjects that seemed far away, up close from the people in the middle of it, such as ministers and presidents of countries and relevant organisations. One of the speeches during our Annual Conference from Rebecca Tinsley from the organization Waging Peace, made me realize why I chose to study law, and why I know I can make a change in this world… even if it's just a small one.

Christine Chemnitz Ambrosius

Internship Dates: October 2012 - January 2013

I undertook an internship at the Institute for Cultural Diplomacy from October 1012 until February 2013. It was an enriching experience and I will take a lot of good memories with me.

There are two things that I especially would like to highlight about the ICD. First and most importantly, I got to work with a lot of great people. The organisation has a big and unique internship program, which meant that I met a lot of young people from all over the world. This fact makes the ICD a dynamic and fun organisation and there are a lot of social activities going on outside of the working hours.

Secondly, the work that I was assigned was very rewarding and I learned a lot. Of course I also had to do some typical intern tasks but after a while I was given more responsibilities. A part of the work in the ICD also includes attending their events and conferences. This was a lot of work but it was all worth it as I had the chance to see interesting lectures and to meet fascinating people, such as ambassadors, leaders of state, politicians etc.

I can definitely recommend an internship at the ICD. It's one of a kind, the organisation has a lot of potential and I will look forward to see how it will develop in the years to come.

Danielle May

Internship Dates: April - June 2013

One of the most memorable highlights of my time at the ICD was having the opportunity to work on the Symposium on Cultural Diplomacy and Human Rights, where I participated in many interesting debates on topics such as genocide prevention and women's rights. On this occasion and others, I got a chance to meet and interview distinguished activists and politicians, including senators and former prime ministers. The working environment at the ICD is extremely international, and I made some close friends during my internship. Being exposed to international relations issues on a daily basis also developed my knowledge in this area and will assist me in my future career.

Denisa Pikusova

Internship Dates: September - November 2012

I have been an intern at the ICD for over a month now. During this period, I had enough time to make friends, settle in the new working environment and get used to daily tasks. Mornings are usually devoted to marketing. We carry out a lot of calling and inviting ambassadors, politicians, musicians, students to the planned conferences.

In the afternoon, I work usually for the Human Rights Team. I particularly enjoy afternoons, as it gives me opportunity to work on something which I really enjoy and is closely related to my studies. In the Human Rights Team we are currently working on the new initiative concerning women rights and the CEDAW Convention. Aside from these activities, I attended lectures given by professionals in the relevant fields, conferences and receptions with ambassadors.

My personal experience has been quite positive and I guess for the most part it is not up to the company you work for to provide you with a red carpet, but you yourself have to make the best out of what is given to you. So far this is what I am doing and keeping my eyes open for every opportunity there is.

Elena Filatova

Internship Dates: August - November 2012

Looking back over my last 3 months, I have no doubt that my internship at the ICD was a great experience.

It's been fulfilling to work on projects helping other people to learn more about cultural diplomacy. During my time in ICD I was given a chance to work in different teams: I touched upon many interesting themes and learned both about the internal organization of an NGO as well as its projects. As a member of the Interns Council I also learned that succeeding in a professional setting not only means you must have the skills to complete the necessary tasks, but that you must also possess the attitude and personal skills to communicate with people in any situation that may be encountered.

Working for ICD taught me a lot about dealing with people from various cultural backgrounds. The ICD interns coming from all over the world were very open, friendly and supportive. Everybody helped each other in order to achieve our goals, everybody was welcome to think up and contribute new ideas.

Moreover, living and working in a city as dynamic as Berlin is really fun and interesting, especially when you know the language.

Gabriela Šaturová

Internship Dates: September - December 2012

As a young person at the beginning of my career I am happy to have had the opportunity to get my first working experience, relevant to my field, at the ICD.

I chose the Institute for Cultural Diplomacy as an organisation matching my professional interests after the completion of my Bachelor studies and the decision to take a break from my studies has proven to be a very beneficial one.

I have spent very dynamic and stimulating months at the ICD, dealing with various tasks and projects and learning many new useful practical skills. From marketing activities through challenges of daily management to conference planning or working on the project about multiculturalism in Germany. All of this has been an one-of-a-kind training and a great asset for my future career.
One of the best parts of my ICD experience were all the conferences and events I had chance to co-organise and the people I was lucky to meet. By them I mean not only many high-profile speakers but the ICD team as well.

As an intern at the ICD you definitely do not end up making coffee and copying papers but you get a chance to both contribute your part to its development and even work on your own initiative as well as to take as much of the experience as you can and use this valuable training in your further career.

Giovanni Tonutti

Internship Dates: September 2012 - June 2013

Condensing my 8 months working experience at the ICD in few lines represents the last of the numerous challenges I've undergone since the first day of my internship.  Each of these challenges, resulted in more or less successful outcomes, has contributed somehow in expanding my professional and personal skills. This is my testimonial: I entered in the office with very little, if no knowledge about how to organise a conference, how to deal with participants, how to approach prominent personalities and how to manage an international team of young and dynamic people, and I am now about to leave feeling a little more conscious and ready to face the challenges ahead of me.

Julia de Romémont

Internship Dates: September - December 2012

My four months at the ICD proved to be a time I will never forget. In this time I experienced and learned so many things. Next to marketing, research and participating in the organization of conferences, the most valuable experience I got from the ICD is working in a team. Within my team, my great team, we developed really constructive dynamics and especially during the research on multiculturalism, the fact to have so many smart people working together was a lot of work but also fun. I met such great likeminded and enthusiastic people, who became really good friends. But through the ICD I could also meet a lot of interesting important people, be they speakers or participants at our conferences.

As part of the intern's council I had the opportunity of become more aware of how an organization like the ICD is organized and managed. I liked the fact that the ICD is always trying to reinvent itself and working to reach more and more people, even with limited resources.

The experience the ICD enable me to get is one of kind and in the end really positive. It has changed me and my perspectives and that is what I think an internship should do.

Kristine Buiko

Internship Dates: October 2012 - February 2013

I am grateful to the ICD for the opportunity to meet people from different cultures and countries. These people, my colleagues, became my friends and support. Sharing experiences, going out together and just working together was very pleasant for me. It is not a common thing when you can work within such atmosphere, with all those talented and smart individuals who share a lot in common even having completely different backgrounds.

Working at the ICD was challenging for me in a way that work itself was distant from what I have expected it to be before I started. The good thing is that I have overcome my shyness towards some professional and life situations. Working here increased my confidence and helped me with realizing what it is what I want to do next in life.

Lindsay Murphy

Internship Dates: September - November 2012

I applied for my internship in the summer of 2012 as I was writing my thesis. I had just finished my master's degree in International Peace Studies and I was drawn to ICD's belief in the potential of cultural diplomacy and soft power. During my time at the institute, as part of the news and research team, I had the chance to involve myself with a number of different projects including writing original articles, attending a range of conference events, writing reports and developing initiatives. The opportunity to interact with stand-out personalities in the field of international relations on a regular basis was something which I very much appreciated and enjoyed. So too, was the time I spent with the other interns. Working in such a multi-cultural environment with such capable, engaged and interesting people was a great experience and I have no doubt that I have made some wonderful friends.

Nuria Alvarez

Internship Dates: September - December, 2012

The time I have spent working at the ICD has been very enriching for me, both in a professional and in a personal way. Since I started work at the ICD, I have learnt the importance of team work and the benefits of being part of a diverse team, which has always been there to help me solve my problems. The members of the team eventually became my friends and I know for sure that we will continue supporting each other in future professional activities.

I have also had the chance to attend important lectures of relevant people in the area of International Relations and Cultural Diplomacy, whose words and ideas always complement my studies in Communications and International Relations.

I was afforded the opportunity to attend very interesting conferences, panel discussions and similar events. The Annual Conference on Cultural Diplomacy 2012 also gave me the opportunity to learn how many different things are involved in running a conference on such a large scale, and how enriching such platforms can be.

I would like to point out that the best thing about the ICD is its people, who are always working hard, not only doing research, marketing or helping to organize conference, but most importantly, trying to make the world a better place to be in!

Oana Barbu

Internship Dates: August - October 2012

Living in Berlin is an experience of itself.. by adding an internship at the ICD to this experience one can get one of the most rewarding experiences a student could have during his/hers' study period.
An international internship is a must for every student. You cannot have a better taste of multiculturalism and diversity in any other European city.

Being an intern at the ICD was a spontaneous decision to make - but sometimes these are the ones that turn out the best!

I got the chance to visit Berlin - I've been to Bundestag, but not like a regular tourist, but together with the ICD team, organizing a panel discussion and enjoying a private tour of the building. And this is just one example of what happens during a 3 months internship.

The ICD is the place where I was first put into the situation of making my own decisions and assuming responsibility for what happens next. This is the place where I made mistakes and where I revised these mistakes, by finding my own solutions and responses.

Of course, one gets what one gives. The internship is demanding and exciting only if you want it to be like that. I always believed that self-motivation is very important.

For me, the ICD was the perfect first step for a future career. And I share this opinion together with other interns that came here from all over the world. You cannot talk about the ICD spirit, ICD events and ICD staff&interns unless you get the chance to experience, organize and work with them!

Orsolya Kiss

Internship Dates: September - November 2012

The Institute for Cultural Diplomacy offered me an internship for 3 months in the autumn of 2012. I was really looking forward to start my new job in one of the biggest cultural capitals of Europe, in Berlin. The institution's work is based on the enthusiastic, like-minded interns coming from all over the world. Working in this multicultural, friendly environment is already a unique and great experience.

Furthermore, ICD is offering very various kinds of works in lots of different fields. Starting for example from marketing and - in my case - getting to the management team, where I have to deal with tasks one would never learn at the university. Every day is a new challenge. Since I've been working here, I had the opportunity to attend some very interesting lectures given at the conferences that allowed me to get a closer insight of what cultural diplomacy means.

I'm really looking forward to deepen my knowledge further by a couple of lectures given by Mark about International Relations and Cultural Diplomacy in the next few weeks.

Piotr Wójcik

Internship Dates: October - December 2012

My internship at the ICD began a month ago, and so far I find it very interesting. The work here has provided me with a lot of new experiences. For example, developing skills in marketing, researching for new stakeholders and taking part in preparations the conferences.

Assigned tasks sometimes might be boring but as in all the institutions around the world I guess as well here it just need to be done. But on the other hand we have also some exciting additional team initiatives which deal with e.g. human rights or multiculturalism.

I had the opportunity to take part in The Ljubljana Human Rights Summit 2012 in Slovenia. That was a great possibility for me to meet and listen to large amount of speakers as well Prime Minister of Slovenia - Janez Jansa. What is also worth mentioning.. - people at ICD.

The time we cooperate together or having a lunch break is full of different conversations, interesting opinions. I appreciate as well the chance to take part in cultural events in ICD House for example this one with Bill Summer. I am having a very nice time here I can recommend the ICD but there is no better chance you can find out about it like just try it on your own.

Sabina Pop

Internship Dates: August - November 2012

My experience at the ICD was least to say interesting. I got to learn new skills, handle all sorts of situations and interact with so many different people, calling and visiting us from all over the world. I am grateful I was given the chance to work in the field of (business) administration, as this is the area in which I am studying.

Being able to do this in such a diverse environment and in the meanwhile, learning what cultural diplomacy means, gave me a totally new perspective. As a result, my horizon has become much broader and I am even planning on undertaking an internship and one day maybe even work at the embassy of Romania in Berne. I am more than grateful for having had the opportunity.

I have to thank the people with whom I have worked for three months and who make all this happen. It was a beautiful surprise when I was offered a bonus/prize, to go to Andalucía, Spain and discover its' amazing history and beauty. It was amazing to receive recognition for my work. I do not think this hardly ever happens during internships in general. The managers always promote proactive behavior and use incentives to motivate us. What I just stated is the perfect example.

I am glad to be part of the ICD. Even though I am leaving Berlin, I will be continuing working for the institute.

Stephanie Stühler

Internship Dates: September - November 2012

My internship at the ICD lasted for three months; within them I was thought a lot both professionally and personally. I had the opportunity to attend interesting lectures and conferences, got to know inspiring and talented people in the field of politics, economics and arts. Also my colleagues from all over the world made this not just a career opportunity for me but a unique chance to make new friends with different backgrounds and interesting stories.

I worked for the CBG Team and helped to organize the Conference and the Young Leaders Forum 'Cultural Bridges in Germany'. The possibility to contribute to these events and to actually decide how we want to realize it is something you normally cannot do at other internship placements. The teamwork was fantastic and we also managed to elaborate a proposal on multiculturalism with our background knowledge from the CBG event, interviews and a survey that we collected.

All in all I can only recommend an internship at the ICD for all the good experiences and people you meet there.