Summer of Sun, Fun, with Work to be done!

Summer Internship is a phrase that's mentioned a little during the Pre-Program & Orientation phase, a little bit during Q1, a lot during Career Discovery Week, a lot more during Q2, intensively (or not at all) during the Winter Break, non-stop during Summer Internship Recruitment Week, intensely (possibly with interviews) during Q3, with mild panic during Q4, and fearful panic after Q4.  If you haven't landed a summer internship by the end of your first year, the above roller-coaster might be the trajectory of your panicky emotions.  If you're one of the lucky ones that landed an internship early in the year, good on ya!  But not everybody has that feeling of comfort; some have to wait a little longer than others, some have to wait a lot longer than others, but the result is definitely worth the wait! I believe good things take time, and my summer internship certainly took its time in becoming clear & concrete, but it was so worth the wait!  My summer assignment took me to Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates, where I was very fortunate to be working on research on the Global Competitiveness of the GCC Region.  I was quite excited to be going back home, and although it got a teeny bit hot at times, the heat didn't really bother me... I suppose when you're happy doing what you're doing, all the minor inconveniences like a little heat & humidity fade into the background :)  It was certainly a challenging research project (prior to the start of the project, Foreign Direct Investment was an area that I wasn't completely familiar with), but one that I thoroughly enjoyed, as it allowed me to work with a firm that I was in incredible awe of, work in a country I hold very dear to my heart, and to learn about & work on an issue which is of significant concern to the region's future as a whole.

In this part of the world, we have real sun with real summers (30C is kinda warm, not hot!), but after having a long cold winter with sub-zero temperatures, it was nice to see my old friend (the Sun) again :)  Another wonderful result of my summer stint was that it took me back home to the United Arab Emirates, and it gave me the opportunity to spend some wonderful time with my family & friends (after the day's work was done, of course!).  I am very fortunate to have a wonderful group of family & friends in both, my hometown & gradtown, and it was fantastic to see all the amazing people who encouraged me early on & are cheering me on during this adventure.  To all of them, I owe a debt of thanks & limitless bear hugs! :)

My summer experience has been so incredibly amazing, that the thought of going back was a little bit not fun, but once you've started riding this intense roller-coaster, you've got to see it through to its (graduating) conclusion, and I am so excited for this final year and all the awesomeness it holds for us! :D