Meet Proder Team: Rachel

Meet Proder Team: Rachel
  • When did you start in Proder?

I started my internship in PRODER on June 23, 2021. 

  • Did you have any previous internship or job experience before Proder?

Yes, I guess you can say so. In college I worked in our sociology department’s front office. I was an intern with the International Alliance Preventing Aids (IAPA) where I taught HIV/AIDS prevention in India for 2 months. I actually owned a business for two years selling sports fan items. I was also an intern with the Arizona Youth Identity Project with our sociology school conducting interviews with young folks about their social and political identities. I was also an intern with the democratic party in 2016 for the variety of local races in Arizona as a canvassing director. My most recent profession was as an organizer for the Texas State Employees Union. There, I recruited folks working for the Texas government to join our union and fight for higher wages and safe working conditions.

  • Why did you choose Turkey?

I was actually studying at ODTU this past year as part of the German Turkish Masters program in Social Sciences or GeTMA. I loved Turkish culture after my first visit here in 2019 and decided that I wanted to come back sometime in the near future. 

  • What is your position in Proder? And what are your tasks?

I am the EU Activities Organizer. I help plan and manage the activities for our Erasmus+ and European Solidarity Corp projects. 

  • What did you learn in your internship?

I learned a lot about how to apply for EU projects such as youth exchanges. I also learned how to manage activities for groups of people from around Europe that bring different cultures and worldviews together. 

  • What is your impression on Turkey? And of Eskisehir?

Sorry Ankara, but Eskisehir has my heart. It’s such a walkable city with many things to see and do. It has a small town feel but is big enough that I never got bored. 

  • Tell us one of your best experiences in Turkey.

Going on a tour of the Black Sea Region during Bayram and seeing the Sumela Monastery.

  • What are your professional plans for the future?

After my masters I hope to apply for PhD programs.

  • How do you think this internship has helped you for your professional career?

After this internship I am encouraged to become more involved in EU and Erasmus initiatives. In Berlin I hope to join another organization like PRODER and help them apply for projects. In the end, this might look well on my CV in line with my previous experience working with grassroots organizations and NGOs. 

  • What do you think you’ll miss the most?

I’ll definitely miss getting fresh orange juice every morning on my way to the office. Also shoutout to my homeboy at Simit Sarayi for always serving the best goodies. I’ll also miss getting to do fun local projects and youth exchanges.

Irene Adolph Crespo