Meet the WorldChicago 2020 Fall Interns

Meet our amazing Fall Interns: Martina Caretta, Michael Ghiloni, Julia Sosnivka, and Ronabel Castillo! Due to COVID-19, they had to adapt to the unique challenges of a virtual internship. We asked them to share how their internship experience has been like, and how they have navigated the virtual setting. Here is what they had to say:

Martina Caretta, University of San Francisco, Class of 2021

“One of my favorite part of working at WorldChicago is the opportunity I have to connect with different people and organizations around Chicago. I have helped with organizing two events for an International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) project focused on Women as Drivers of Social and Economic Change. I really enjoyed seeing these two events coming into life, from drafting meeting requests and looking for the right people to join the meeting to the actual meeting. It has been a very impactful experience, and I feel I have grown professionally and as a student.

I deeply believe in WorldChicago’s mission of citizen diplomacy and the power of connecting people coming from all around the world. WorldChicago does a great job in organizing events and discussing topics of fundamental importance in our global world such as government accountability, climate change, combating human trafficking, US economy, smart cities, global security and more. This experience is helping me to improve my skills in diplomacy, research, writing, outreach, and event planning. It has been an amazing opportunity for me to see how a nonprofit works on the ground and to put into practice the concepts I have learned in class. I feel Chicago has become an important place in my heart without ever lived there.”

Michael Ghiloni, Loyola University of Chicago, Class of 2021

“Participating in a virtual internship has been a very interesting experience. One of the biggest challenges has been not having the face-to-face interactions with fellow staff members and the natural comradery that usually comes along with that. Working from home is also a challenge at times due to additional distractions that may be present in a home environment. What I really appreciated was how the WorldChicago staff has always been available to assist with projects when needed. They are always ready to offer guidance in academic and personal matters, which is highly appreciated especially as I prepare for life as a post-grad.

Currently, I am working on the Youth Leaders of the Americas Initiative (YLAI) fellowship, and my favorite part of this project has been matching fellows with prospective organizations. It is satisfying to pair fellows with an organization that suites their ambitions and personal interests well.

As a student, this is the first time I have had an opportunity to work in the nonprofit sector. The biggest takeaway from this experience is that nonprofits play an immense and often underappreciated role in facilitating diplomacy between different groups of people. Working at WorldChicago has allowed me to witness this firsthand. I am extremely proud to work with such a diverse and dynamic group of people daily that are truly making a lasting impact not only locally but internationally as well.”

Julia Sosnivka, Loyola University of Chicago, Class of 2020

“Virtual internships have definitely been challenging compared to in-person. While the normal flow of communication and conversation that happens in an in-office setting is disrupted, it also allowed me to be more proactive in my work, whether that’s reaching out to other staff members or to be more independent and problem-solve.

WorldChicago's work is important to me because of I believe in the impact of building connections with people around the world based on understanding and appreciation. Working at WorldChicago has helped me grow professionally because of my exposure to many people from around the world.”

Ronabel Castillo, Loyola University of Chicago, Class of 2022

“My favorite part of working with WorldChicago is having the opportunity to learn about the work that is put into creating wonderful global programs. The team effort and collaboration is very admirable. At first, I was nervous to participate in a virtual internship because it can be difficult to focus on a computer screen for so long and I was worried that it would be harder to make those interpersonal relationships in the workplace. But my experience has been different than what I expected. On the first day I was able to meet most of the staff members over Microsoft Teams and continue to use that platform to stay connected with group meetings or for quick contact. The community at WorldChicago has been one of the main reasons why I’ve had such a great experience.

My favorite project so far has been working with Thi for Youth Diplomat Program outreach to Chicagoland area high schools and NPO’s. We reached out to many people and I was very happy to receive positive feedback. I think WorldChicago’s work is important because they are a bridge for our local and global communities. The emphasis to create global citizens in a world that is becoming more and more connected is valuable. Working with WorldChicago has given me the opportunity to learn more about how the professional field works.”

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