Empowered by Experience: Brazilian Student Finds Clarity and Confidence Through TWC's AIP Program

May 20, 2024 The Washington Center

Heloisa Ramires, international student from Escola Superior de Propaganda e Marketing in Sao Paulo, Brazil, interning at Lean Construction Institute (LCI).

Heloisa Ramires joined TWC’s Spring 2024 AIP program as an international student from Escola Superior de Propaganda e Marketing in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Interning at Lean Construction Institute (LCI), a leader in innovative construction practices, Heloisa stepped out of her comfort zone exploring a new city, a different language and a new industry all to help find her professional passions.

1. Where did you intern and what are some of your responsibilities there?

I interned at the Lean Construction Institute (LCI), an organization that helps advance sustainability, safety and efficiency in the commercial construction industry. A primary focus of my internship was to support the planning of the 25th Annual LCI Congress event in San Diego, California this October 22-24, 2024! Some of my responsibilities included:

  • Participating in weekly calls with our external marketing crew.
  • Giving the “thumbs up” approvals on marketing plans for the big event.
  • Crunching numbers and whipping up registration reports on Excel.
  • Making sure everything was running smoothly by coordinating schedules through various online systems.

2. What were some experiences in your internship that you found rewarding?

I loved having the opportunity to participate at in-person meetings with individuals from various parts of the United States. These took place at least once a month, taking up the entire afternoon with team members sharing a wide range of project updates. I found it incredibly rewarding; I learned a lot and met many new people, which was essential for networking and was exciting.

Typically, we discussed the methodologies used by each other's companies, which often involved a lot of strategic planning—my area of interest. They always included me, and I was thrilled to contribute to the discussions as well. This experience further fueled my passion for the sector!

Heloisa Ramires, international student from Escola Superior de Propaganda e Marketing in Sao Paulo, Brazil, interning at Lean Construction Institute (LCI).

3. How have you expanded your professional network during your time with TWC?

Because of LCI’s in-person meetings, I got to meet coworkers from all over the U.S. As an international student, coming from Brazil, that was a very enriching experience and an important element of expanding my classroom experiences! I also got to meet professionals from a variety of industries at networking events held by TWC during the semester. I have talked with many of these individuals on LinkedIn about career advice! It's been amazing meeting so many industry professionals that  care about my growth and success as both a student and a newcomer in the field.

When I arrived at TWC, I wasn't sure about the career path I wanted to pursue. However, thanks to the networking opportunities the program provided, I feel excited and empowered to attain a leadership position.

Heloisa Ramires, international student from Escola Superior de Propaganda e Marketing in Sao Paulo, Brazil, interning at Lean Construction Institute (LCI).

4. How has this experience impacted your career goals?

When I arrived at TWC, I wasn't sure about the career path I wanted to pursue. However, thanks to the networking opportunities the program provided, I feel excited and empowered to attain a leadership position. Every professional I spoke with and every speaker I listened to shared their journey of uncertainty, reassuring me that it just takes time and experience to find my path. This comforted me and instilled a desire to embrace new challenges and fearlessly confront the future.

5. What advice do you have for international students considering an internship with TWC?

My advice for international students is to embrace the opportunity wholeheartedly. It's a chance to immerse yourself in a new culture, expand your horizons and not only grow personally but also professionally. Also, take advantage of every opportunity to network, learn from different perspectives and build lasting connections that can open doors to future opportunities. I’ve met so many people during my time here who have become lifelong friends and I’ve enjoyed every moment because I wasn’t afraid to step out of my comfort zone, even though English isn’t my first language.

Heloisa Ramires, international student from Escola Superior de Propaganda e Marketing in Sao Paulo, Brazil, interning at Lean Construction Institute (LCI).

6. What is the living and learning experience like in D.C.?

TWC’s Residential and Academic Facility (RAF) is situated in a great neighborhood and close to a metro station for endless opportunities to explore the city! My friends and I loved attending a Washington Wizards basketball game and spending days at the National Mall. We also enjoyed visiting coffee shops and restaurants in the area too.

Remember that every experience, whether big or small, contributes to your growth and journey toward success. Moving to D.C. may feel like a big step but is worth it. It’s a great experience and I’m sure you’ll love it! Go for it with enthusiasm, curiosity, and a willingness to learn—you'll be amazed at what you can achieve! :) I will always hold a special place in my heart for this experience.

About the Author

The Washington Center

The Washington Center is the largest and most established student internship program in Washington, D.C. Since our founding, we've helped more than 60,000 individuals from across the U.S. and around the globe expand their academic pursuits into rewarding jobs and careers. We use our scale and expertise to deliver solutions that open career pathways for learners, solve recruitment challenges for employers, while helping create greater access, equity, advancement and representation.

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