My Summer on the Other Side of the World
Wendy Salto ’22, a rising sophomore from Chicago who anticipates declaring an anthropology major at Trinity this year, had the opportunity this summer to work as one of two social media interns with Infosys InStep in Bangalore, India. Below, she talks about how she got involved in this globe-trotting tech internship and how it’s inspired her to keep exploring the world:
I stumbled upon this internship accidentally. At the end of the spring semester, I received a campuswide email about the new partnership between Trinity and Infosys, which includes providing students with internships. I did not have any set plans for the summer, so I thought I might as well apply. I was unsure about how an anthropology major could contribute to a tech company; however, to my surprise I got a call about an interview a few days after submitting the application, and I have been interning in India since June along with six other Trinity students.
My day-to-day life here differs. Sometimes I’m in the office all day with back-to-back meetings about content creation and intern responsibilities, while other days I am outside shooting videos or photos and learning more about other Infosys interns from around the world. One day, I was selected to run a “day-in-the-life of an Infosys InStep intern” takeover on the Instagram account of Vault, a well-known career intelligence platform/service. [See a video post below.] It is a challenging internship that demands long hours, but I love the type of work I’ve been doing.
For those who may not know, InStep has been named by Vault as one of the best internship opportunities in the world. I cannot compare this experience to any internship I’ve ever had before. I’ve previously worked on social media and branding as a social media associate (SoMA) at Trinity, and for the ChiTeen Lit Fest in Chicago, but I’ve never pursued an internship overseas. This summer, I have created friendships with people I would have never met otherwise, and I believe these friendships will last a lifetime. Despite our differences and occasional communication barriers, we still find a way to get along and have fruitful conversations.
Another highlight of this internship has been the opportunity to travel to other parts of India on the weekends. I’ve loved every single place I’ve visited so far: Pondicherry: a little taste of France in India; Kerala: the relaxing backwaters and the only place I’ve been able to find beef in India; Hampi: beautiful temples and an amazing history; Delhi: a little heat did not stop us from exploring the capital of India; Agra: the Taj Mahal, one of the New7Wonders of the World. I’ve found that the people are kind and it is fun to see their excitement when they see a group of foreigners. When I was in Hampi, a woman refused to let me go until I took a picture with her.
This experience has made me appreciate the education I receive at Trinity. Several tech interns struggle in social situations whereas I do not, partly because of the experiences offered to me back at school. For example, the small size of classes at Trinity encourages me to collaborate with my classmates. Additionally, being a part of the Moveable Joints improv group has slowly helped me to get over my fear of embarrassing myself and come out of my shell. There were also several classes in my first year that required me to participate in some form of public speaking. For instance, for my Community Action Gateway course, we had to present our final projects to our community partners, as well as other folks. What made it more challenging was that I had to translate and speak to the community members in Spanish.
Finally, spending my summer in India has fueled my hunger to study abroad. I have been debating for months whether I should study away for at least two semesters and this experience has made me recognize that I love to immerse myself in new cultures. I was hesitant initially because I was unsure if I would be able to be away from home for such a long time, but now I know that I can do it!
Learn more about the Trinity-Infosys partnership by listening to the WNPR podcast featuring Trinity College President Joanne Berger-Sweeney and Infosys President Ravi Kumar.