June 19, 2014

Correspondent Spotlight: Sarah Fiske

Correspondent Spotlight: Sarah Fiske Santo Domingo, June 19, 2014
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Meet Sarah Fiske, a recent graduate of the University of Louisville, Kentucky, who majored in Political Science, and is an InteRDom Correspondent for the 2014 Summer InteRDom Program.

Sarah is the Assistant Coordinator in a joint internship with the Dominican Council on International Relations (CDRI) at FUNGLODE, and the Ministry of Exterior Relations (MIREX), where she doing analysis and research on the economic impact of DR CAFTA in the Dominican Republic.

Sarah grew up in Rhode Island, which is the smallest state in the United States and also has the longest official name: “The State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations.” She grew up surrounded by water and loves all water sports, including being an avid rower growing up and at the University of Louisville.

Q: What is your point of reference for knowledge about the Dominican Republic?

A: When I was in high school I went to a Spanish-speaking church in Rhode Island.  Most people there were from the Dominican Republic. I was first introduced to the accent and some of the food from them.  Now, my boyfriend is from Santo Domingo and so I’ve gotten to learn about the country from him as well.  I’m looking forward to saying my point of reference includes this summer internship as well.

Q: If you could only use three words to describe yourself, what would they be? 

A: Spontaneous, curious and kind (I hope!).

Q: How do you think that these qualities will contribute to helping you adjust to life in the Dominican Republic?

A: Certainly the spontaneity will help because there will be a lot of new situations and I need to be ready to do what comes up.  It’ll allow me to have more fun in my experience; it also helps when everyone is speaking quickly in Spanish making plans and I’m too tired to listen – I don’t mind going with the flow.  Curiosity will allow me to learn more and of course “you catch more flies with honey than vinegar.”

Q: Tell me a little bit about your family…

A: I have two “little” brothers, both of whom are taller than I and my parents. My parents and my littlest brother still live in Rhode Island.

Q: What sparked your interest in traveling?

A: When I was young my parents always had international students over at our house.  They were like my older siblings.  I learned about other countries and places and have wanted to travel for as long as I can remember.

Q: Why did you decide to participate in the Correspondent Program?

A: I’ve always wanted to have a blog, but haven’t had a good reason to spend time on it yet.

Q: What are your career goals?

A: Long term, I’d like to be a consultant and work with small organizations, businesses, religious groups etc. that are looking to have a presence in business, humanitarian or education aid in developing countries.  I’d come alongside these people and help them develop a platform to work from that is beneficial, sustainable and appropriate to the needs of the people they wish to help.  There are a lot of people who want to help in ending poverty, providing education, opening business etc. in the developing world, but there is a disconnect between the people and money spent and the results.  Some of this is on the side of the organizations – people having a heart to help but not knowing how.  I’d like to help bridge that gap.

Q: How do you think the InteRDom program will contribute to your career goals?

A: I’m going to study International Development in graduate school starting this fall.  I’d really like to get an idea for which direction I’d like to specialize before school and I hope to learn that in this program.  It will also give me perspective and knowledge about what development in action looks like.  I hope to meet people and learn a lot.

Q: Why did you becoming interested in this field?

A: I love other places and cultures, I love people and I love challenges. It seemed like a good fit.

Q: Were you a member of any clubs or student organizations at your university?

A: I was in a few clubs including Fellowship of Christian Athletes and language clubs.

Q: Do you participate in any community or cultural activities outside of the university? Which ones?

A: I’m involved with an organization helping internationals in the university and area. I love it.

Q: What are some of your favorite hobbies or interests?

A: Rowing, sports, swimming, cross-fit, cooking, reading, learning, languages, good discussions.

Q: What is one fun or little-known fact about you? 

A: I’m directionally challenged (though most people know that!).

Upon her return to the US, she will serve as an ambassador of the country and the program for other students in her graduate school who are interested in traveling to the Dominican Republic. Read more about how the Correspondent Program helps students boost their resumes in the areas of Communications, Marketing and Public Relations, here.

You can follow Sarah’s and other InteRDom Correspondents’ experiences in the Dominican Republic on the InteRDom blog.

The internship program, InteRDom, an initiative of Global Foundation for Democracy and Development (GFDD) and Fundación Global Democracia y Desarrollo (FUNGLODE), is the premier internship, research and academic study program in the Dominican Republic. It offers international students the opportunity to research important topics at the forefront of the United Nations agenda, obtain professional experience by interning with Dominican organizations and businesses related to their fields of study and/or earn academic credits by taking courses and seminars at a local university.