This Monkeybiz Internship is an impactful experience
Growing up, I knew I wanted to work for a non-profit one day. It is eye-opening to work with people who love what they do, are inspired daily to help the world around them, and have a passion for change. This “do-good” attitude flows through every layer of the lives of people I met in Cape Town. From the beadwork artists to the office staff, each individual contributes to the company’s goals and vision. It was an amazing feeling knowing that despite being an intern, the Monkeybiz team valued my opinion and took me seriously.
Initially, I chose the Monkeybiz internship because it would give me the opportunity to apply my university knowledge in a hands-on environment. Besides, I love traveling, so flying halfway across the world was an awesome way to step out of my comfort zone. I was feeling a bit nervous when my plane touched down in Cape Town, and the reality sank in that this was home for the next two months. Whatever uncertainty I had quickly faded though, as I drove from the airport, taking in the beauty of Cape Town for the first time. I can honestly say that this city is one of the most diverse places I have ever seen. I spent my weekends hiking, going to food markets, or walking through Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens.
From wireframe to masterpiece
My morning walk would go through Company Gardens, to the vibrant neighborhood of Bo-Kaap, home of the Monkeybiz headquarters. My tasks in the office varied much, including social media content, and managing the stock. I also visited the beadwork artists in their homes once, which was a very special moment. I drove to their towns and got to meet them and their families, and experienced their culture. They showed me how they assembled the beadwork pieces, and I learned about the process each piece goes through from wireframe to masterpiece!
I brought my camera along on my visit and took many photos and portraits of the women. When reviewing these photos, I realized how impactful this experience had been. It gave me a much bigger perspective of why I had come to Cape Town in the first place: to help and serve. At Monkeybiz we created a photo series for Instagram, called #theheartbehindtheheart, to share these experiences.
I had never pursued photography at home, so it was so cool to see the new skills I was learning as a result of the internship and the fruitful results coming from my work there. The whole staff at Monkeybiz was so patient to teach me all about photography and editing, which stuck with me when I got back to university.
A life-changing experience
Overall my experience in Cape Town was life-changing! The friends I have met, the skills I have learned, and the journeys I had will stick with me forever. I miss waking up and walking outside my flat to see the beautiful view of Table Mountain. Or, driving to the beach for a picnic on a Saturday to watch the sunset. I also miss the amazing people that I met and worked with in Cape Town, but I know that their doors are always open. I will definitely be back!