Intern Stories

Intern Stories: Marvin Ruiz – My adventure in Manila with Ideaspace

By in Intern Stories

By Marvin Ruiz

Intern at Ideaspace

Reading Time 5 Minutes


My adventure in Manila with Ideaspace

From Los Angeles, California, to Manila, Philippines. It was a major leap deciding to travel to a new country. However, after jotting down a list of reasons why and why I shouldn’t go, I couldn’t help but smile at the possible opportunities and experiences I would have on this international internship. I made my decision and decided on the voyage to the Philippines for a two-month internship.

It all started when I was browsing through a job search app called ZipRecruiter. I saw a posting from CareerUp Internships Abroad for a summer internship. After looking over the CareerUp website, I decided to apply, hoping for the best. After only a few days, I got a response. After completing my consultation, I stayed in communication with the admissions team and was later accepted into the program. Which later became real after I received my personal internship options. After choosing my personal internship preferences, I had my online interview. Not even a few weeks later, I was told that I was accepted by Ideaspace and was set to travel to Manila!

As my departure date approached, I was feeling both excited and nervous in equal measure. I had no idea what to expect, but I knew I had to keep an open mind and experience a new culture and go on an adventure outside my comfort zone.

“As my departure date approached, I was feeling both excited and nervous in equal measure.”

On May 30, I touched down in Manila and thankfully my on-ground coordinator, Kim, who aside from being very friendly also made this process easy because she knew how to find me at the airport. She already had a car, helped me with my luggage, and we set off to the Knightsbridge Residences. My arrival there was amazing because the moment I was given my room key, my excitement began to grow. Not only was I very excited to have my own room, but I was also anxious to begin this new adventure!



Meeting amazing people

My first month in Mania was filled with incredible adventures and it all started with the introduction dinner set up by our on-ground coordinator. She took us to a Filipino restaurant where we feasted on delicious food and stellar service. The next event was a bike ride called the tour of Intramuros. On this tour, we rode around on bicycles and learned about the history of the Philippines. Another memorable event was a hiking trip to a volcano where we were given the option of riding on a horse. I was already going to cherish all three events forever and I became more eager to explore the rest of the Philippines. I met amazing people there, especially my fellow interns. After getting to know each other, we planned a weekend trip to Cebu. During this trip, we experienced the skywalk, which found us situated high on a building, walking around, and enjoying the breathtaking night view of Cebu. Later on, we got on a ride called the edge coaster, which somehow managed to go higher than the actual skywalk, where we went around the building in a circle. The view was spectacular, the experience was nerve-wracking, but overall, it was an incredible Saturday. The next day managed to top the previous day. We went swimming with whale sharks and went canyoneering, which consists of hiking, jumping off cliffs, and swimming. This was very exhausting, but a truly memorable day I won’t ever forget! This whole experience pushed me out of my comfort zone, allowing me to experience different events, which was scary at first, but I have no regrets because I am going to cherish these memories forever.



The internship

The internship itself was a fun and rewarding learning experience. My co-workers were very welcoming and incredibly helpful to every question I would ask. On my first day, they treated me to lunch and on my final day, they gave me a going away gift and treated me to dinner. I witnessed the startups that arrived, saw how they pitch their ideas, and learned how to financially assist them. I am confident that I can take the new skills that I learned at Ideaspace and apply them to my future positions. My first assignment at Ideaspace was researching a startup’s potential growth to become profitable, which would determine if it’s a great investment for Ideaspace. I was tasked to search each startups income growth, scaling, budgeting, and become familiar with their founders and employees. Out of 20 startups, my job was to narrow it down to 8 for an interview with Ideaspace higher-ups for a possible investment. My second assignment turned out to be my personal favorite because I had a role to play during Ideaspace’s yearly summer competition. For the competition, 20 startups get chosen and compete by presenting their pitches to their possible investors. The presentations continue until there is one winner. My role was to research and write a summary of the startups for the judges, so they have an idea of what is going to be presented to them.

This is how I acquired knowledge about startups in their earliest development stages, which was great for my professional evolution. I had the opportunity to assist the startups in their presentation by offering tips and helping them break unnecessary habits while presenting. I truly felt like I was a part of this competition and fortunately, I saw my hard work play out before my eyes because the advice I gave the different start-ups helped them advance in the competition. They were grateful to the point where they would come up to me between rounds and thank me personally for the advice I provided for them. That validation really made my day and helped me realize that I really was making a difference being here. Traveling across the world and doing an internship abroad was truly, one of the best experiences of my life so far. The only thing that I would change is staying there longer to see which startup was number one. Overall it was an amazing learning experience and a fantastic boost to my professional development.



Thank you Alex

Finally, all this was possible because of my admissions counselor, Alex DiMeglio. We first connected in December of 2018 and he helped me throughout this whole process. Anytime I had a question, I emailed Alex, and he would always respond. If he didn’t know the answer to any of my questions, he made sure he gave his all to find the answer I was looking for. I never felt that Alex would ignore me, or would leave me on my own; he was always there whenever I needed assistance. Alex is truly amazing and made this whole process doable. I am very grateful to have worked with him and the rest of the great people at CareerUp!

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