Mystery internships create a space where you can leap into the unknown and cultivate your ability to adapt to new environments. In an in-depth interview, we discuss your aspirations, strengths and areas in which you hope to be challenged. Then we create an internship for you, but you won’t find out where you’ll be heading or what you’ll be doing until the day you depart!
You may have many questions about mystery internships, but the most important one is “Do you want to take the leap?”
If you are interested in a mystery internship, applications are open on Symplicity till 01 February 2017.
In the summer of 2014, 4 intrepid students served as the inaugural mystery interns and, based on their interests, were posted in Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and the United States. The students had challenging and edifying summers that expanded their comfort zones, and their experiences demanded resilience, adaptability and an ability to operate without a roadmap or with incomplete information. They cite the experience as invaluable in learning how to take a risk, making the most of one’s circumstances and gaining confidence to face future challenges. Here’s what they had to say:
“I have gained so much in the past 10 weeks and I have been brought so far out of my comfort zone… I feel like every single thing I have learnt in this country is so valuable and meaningful to me as a human being and to my development.”
—Hoa Nguyen, Mystery Intern, Sarus, Cambodia
“Rock climbing is one of the most intense and exhilarating experiences I’ve ever had. I’m really enjoying myself thus far. I feel like I really have a life here, with its quotidian blend of culture, work, socializing, adventure, boredom, traffic, etc. Even seemingly commonplace activities like watching a movie with friends can lead to anthropological insights. My Thai is improving too. There’s something about this place that causes even the most restless of wanderers to get stuck, but by no means stagnate… Life!”
—Willie Khoo, Mystery Intern, Chiang Mai Rock Climbing Association, Thailand
“I just had the most challenging experience of my life and I thought I would share it with you! I was standing in the middle of a ruined stadium in 45 degrees and I had to build a championship in 6 hours. I had ten local boys for help but none of them spoke a word in English. In the use your hands and legs language, I explained to them what they need to do without even knowing what a rugby field is supposed to look like… In total desperation, I almost started crying in the middle of the stadium believing I can never make this happen. But I had to. And you know what? I made it. When I finally got home, I started crying out of relief and sense of accomplishment. With almost no language, knowledge and resources, I helped to organise a rugby championship. And I have learned so much about organising, teamwork and communication. So give me a high five when you see me, alright?”
—Laureen Hollge, Mystery Intern, Lao Rugby Federation, Vientiane, Laos
“Work is great! It’s illuminating to witness the inner workings of a small non-profit… I’m getting to do more research-type stuff, which is nice as well. I’m having a blast here; adjusting to the small town life has been a bit strange but I’m getting used to being more independent in that context. Speaking of graduation festivities…I’m glad I got to witness it, along with Class Day and senior prom, and couldn’t stop thinking about what kind of traditions the graduating classes and alumni at Yale-NUS might establish.”
—Isa Ho, Mystery Intern, Princeton in Asia, Princeton, NJ