Take a look at an internship experience at Worldpackers and check the opportunities!

Internship

Visiting the São Paulo Botanical Gardens with two fellow Worldpackers travelers \o/

If you had told me four months ago that, as a student from Switzerland studying in the U.S., I would be spending my summer on a internship experience at the Worldpackers Headquarters in Brazil, I would have laughed nervously in total confusion. Fast-forward to today, here I am writing and reminiscing about this exact experience.

Currently studying business and entrepreneurship at Babson College in Boston, I was craving to do an internship experiencing the startup world. Fascinated by travel and hospitality, I eagerly searched for opportunities in this industry. It wasn’t until May that I first discovered Worldpackers, an online platform that allows travelers and hosts to connect and exchange skills for accommodation in 100+ countries.

I came across their website and was immediately drawn to it. From the concept, to the mission, to the design…the potential was all there and I found their values to embody my own. There was just one small unexpected detail: their headquarters were located in São Paulo, Brazil ─ a continent I had never been to and with a language I absolutely did not speak.

Of course, my friends and family were low-key worried. However, as a traveler, you learn to simply embrace uncertainty and go with your gut feeling─ whatever the situation. You learn that there are times when you’ve simply got to be unreasonable and just do it. This was exactly one of those moments. I emailed the two Worldpackers co-founders (Riq and Eric) and told them about my vision for a potential collaboration. Fortunately, we clicked and within a couple of weeks, I was about to set foot in South America for the very first time!

When I first arrived to the office, I felt that “startup vibe” right away. There were guitars, inspirational quotes, magazine covers and pictures all over the place. To be honest, the best part was probably the mini ping-pong table in the living space. Scratch that. Ping pong was DEFINITELY the best part (as a tennis player I tend to get very competitive… so I guess it makes sense). Anyway.

Internship

Worldpackers Family pic with the Olympic Torch 🙂 (Riq was an Olympic torch bearer!)

Worldpackers just has this incredibly fun and purpose-driven culture that is difficult to describe to those who haven’t experienced it. If you are lucky enough to already have travelled or hosted as a Worldpacker, I’m sure you must have sensed a glimpse of the company culture through your Travel Buddy for instance. (If you don’t know what I’m talking about, what are you waiting for? Become a Worldpacker and experience it for yourself!)

I have to say, the Worldpackers team does a pretty unbelievable job at keeping the company values and culture consistent with how we interact with the community. You can feel it naturally in the way we collaborate, design and communicate, whether in person or online.

Already by the end of the first week, I didn’t just feel comfortable ─ I felt like I really belonged. At Worldpackers, there’s this peculiar mix of passion, craziness, purpose and lightheartedness that is contagious. From time to time, you’ll just hear someone (obnoxiously) singing for everyone to hear. Trust me, we’ve got some talented singers and musicians, and our Happy Hours definitely get the best of us! 😀

Internship

Tapioca with Nutella and banana @ Ipanema Beach, Rio de Janeiro

Due to the startup environment, my role as an intern was very flexible, although I had to make sure I was proactive and used my time productively. After all, I came to make an impact, didn’t I? I ended up working alongside the Travel Team, building a student outreach strategy as well as leveraging customer success. I also got to take over the Worldpackers Instagram for a week and shared a bit of my story, which was very humbling.

Work aside, I am a traveler at heart and like to think of myself as a “Gypsy Soul”. During my stay in Brazil, I had the chance to visit Salvador and Rio de Janeiro. Although I loved exploring both, I have to admit my favorite was Rio.

The Olympics has always been an all-time favorite to watch on TV, not only because I am myself a tennis athlete, but more so because it encourages so much more than patriotism, and genuinely brings people together. It really was a special moment for me to be present for the Games, making my Brazilian trip even more epic than it already was.

Internship

Tennis @ Rio Olympic (Simon vs Coric) with a breathtaking pink sky

Regardless of my internship, I would 100% travel as a Worldpacker and definitely recommend it to anyone who is looking for meaningful travel experiences. I was astounded to see how big of an impact a relatively small team (18 of us total) could have on so many travelers and hosts around the world. Trust me, every single person behind this project believes and breathes this mission. One traveler at a time, Worldpackers truly does democratize traveling and it couldn’t have been more inspiring for me to witness first-hand.

Although leaving São Paulo was definitely bitter sweet, Brazil was just the first stop of the long adventure that lies ahead of me this year. As part of a unique program organized by my university called “Babson: BRIC -The Cornerstone of the New Global Economy”, I will be studying and traveling to Russia, China and India, visiting 7 cities in the next 3 months. Let it continue.

Internship

Tying some wishes at the Church of Nosso Senhor do Bonfim, Salvador

Muito obrigada, Worldpackers. Beijos.

– Jenny Quénard

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