Asia Gates '21 | University of Portland

Asia Gates '21

Major: Integrative Health & WellnessAsia Gates

Minors: Spanish / Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies

EPI internship: WorldOregon

What are your summer internship responsibilities?

At WorldOregon, I was interning specifically with their International Visitor Program team (IVP). My responsibilities were vast with data entries, proposal writing, grant writing and researching, writing communications to speakers, and crafting materials for virtual projects and visitations.

How did you find out about the Ethics and the Professions Internship program, and why did you apply?

I found out about EPI through a Handshake post, but I had heard about it the first year it started. I had wanted to apply then, but it worked out better this year with my schedule and my desire to get more experience in professional spaces and learn about ethics in the workplace was more prominent.

What did you learn?

I learned so many new skills and discoveries! I learned to write a proposal, draft a program book, work in excel, write professional emails, write grants, and more. Nevertheless, the most valuable takeaways for me were my self-discoveries around ethics, my values in professional settings, and experiencing the great opportunity of working in a nonprofit.

What has been your favorite moment as an intern?

My favorite moment as an intern was sitting in on one of WorldOregon’s programs their Pan-Africa Youth Leadership Program that was conducted virtual this year. Hearing the youth of Portland and the youth of Africa have similar opinions and experiences, but also contrasting their differences shows how valuable cultural exchanges are and the strength of young minds across the globe.

Why do you believe internships are important for undergraduate students?

I believe internships are important for undergraduate students because they offer opportunities to apply your skillsets in the real world and provide new insights. In classes our resources are our professors, textbooks and PowerPoints, but having the chance to leverage previous knowledge and be open to new adventures, then you are supplementing yourself with life-changing experiences.

What tips do you have for students wanting an internship?

My biggest tip for students wanting an internship is to go to our lovely career center and meet the knowledgeable people there who are there to support you in achieving an internship; they want you to succeed!

What other experiences have made your time at UP unique?

My time at UP has been unique due to my close ties with the Moreau Center and the Leadership Certificate Program. The staff and professors in both have helped me volunteer outside the U.S., but also have helped me travel within myself in uncovering what kind of role I want to have in this world. I would not be the person I am today without volunteering for L’Arche, going on the Rural Immersion, being a cohort facilitator for the SEE PDX series, having an amazing coach for LDR

How did the internship influence how you will approach your plans after graduation?

My internship has influenced my future plans by giving me a more hands-on introduction to nonprofit and community organizing work looks like in-person with prompting me to think about the area as a possible career choice more seriously.

The conversation about ethics during my internship has influenced to think more critically and with more awareness of values and morals of future employers, but also my personal beliefs. With the emphasis of ethics in the internship, I have noticed the intertwining of ethics, my strengths, and who I hope to be in the future all intersect. With this new awareness, I hope to hold onto my ethical takeaways to carry with me in future ventures. 

Anything else you would like to add?

EPI has offered me so many gifts in new skills, opportunities, networking and mentorship. I am eternally grateful for the support of everyone involved because it has made a difference and will continue to do so in my future. EPI opens doors for its interns!