July 12, 2006

InteRDom Student of the Week: Jonathan D Oleo

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Jonathan D’Oleo is an honors student at Brandeis University in Boston.

He arrived in the Dominican Republic on the 16th May 2006  to investigate the area of international trade in relation to the Dominican Republic Central American Free Trade Agreement, which is also known as DR-CAFTA.

Listen to this Interview (mp3 | 1,04 MB)

INTERDOM: Please tell me a little bit about the organizations you’re working with.

Jonathan: Well, I’m working at two organizations. One is the American Chamber of Commerce and the other one is the Export and Investment Center for the Dominican Republic. I go three days a week to the former. The former is dedicated to informing private companies in the Dominican Republic of the opportunities that arise from treaties such as the DR-CAFTA. And the Export and Investment Center assists
Dominican producers in marketing their products to foreign nations.

INTERDOM: Excellent. Please describe an average working day in the Dominican Republic.

Jonathan: Well right now at this point in the internship I am at the exploration stage. So I’m going through the different departments of the respective organizations and seeing how I can employ what I know to help each organization accomplish its different goals.

INTERDOM: Ok, so obviously as a Dominican citizen you’re very interested in working in the Dominican Republic. So why did you choose to investigate the workings of RD-CAFTA as part of your research?

Jonathan: I’ve come to the realization that we live in an ever-more globalized world and in order for a third world country to truly develop it needs to successfully integrate to the New World Order.

INTERDOM: So just tell me about some of the activities you have planned for today.

Jonathan: Well actually later this afternoon I’m interviewing Esther Aristy. She’s the director of the Center for Studies of the DR-CAFTA here in FUNGLODE and I’m going to be enquiring about different aspects of the treaty such as what opportunities is the Dominican economy going to have with the coming into effect of the CAFTA.

On Saturday actually I’m to San Cristobal and there I’m going to visit Trujillo’s old mansion. Trujillo was a dictator here in the Dominican Republic from 1930 – 1961 so it’s going to be really interesting to actually eyewitness what was once his home…And one last thing. Today at 6 p.m. I’m actually going to an activity at the Hotel Jaragua about
the role of technology and the transformation of the private sector.

INTERDOM: It sounds like you have a lot of things planned during you time here. I also know that you’re taking classes as UNIBE, at the university. Could you inform about what sort of subjects you’re studying and how that’s going.

Jonathan: I’m taking one class in commercial law. Really, really interesting. It gives me an inside out view of how this business is done in the Dominican Republic. My experience at UNIBE has been magnificent. I say that a great part of my education takes part outside of the classroom, meeting other people and getting in touch
with their different realities. It’s been a “blast” as we say in the US.

INTERDOM: Ok, well I’m very happy to hear that. And just finally to finish, could you tell me three of the most difficult challenges that you have had to overcome since your time here.

Jonathan: Integrate to the greater design in terms of customs of things that are appropriate to do and things that are not appropriate to do in the realm of the Dominican reality. That’s one. Two: How to apply economic theory to the tasks I’ve been given and the different organizations I’ve been working in and three: to find a balance between work and social activities because I’m here not only to develop my academics in the working place but also to meet new people and get in touch with the Dominican culture.