August 15, 2016

Hasta Pronto


By Andrea Gurney, USGC International Intern, Panama City, Panama.

I said goodbye to the rainforest and the ocean, and I’m now back in the Midwest. Until we meet again Panama… 

The Bridge of the America's
 Two and a half months ago I was on a plane to Panama to begin an opportunity of a lifetime. I remember being nervous, scared, and excited to leave the country and to learn more about global agriculture. Now, I am sitting back at home in Wyoming reminiscing on my internship, and wondering where the time went… 

 The last two weeks spent in Panama passed much quicker than expected. During this time I was working diligently on wrapping up my projects. As previously mentioned, I was working on creating an importer/exporter manual for Michigan and Canada. In order to complete this project it had to be outsourced to a company. As a result, I had to draft and finalize a request for proposal (RFP) to be sent to a variety of companies that we would like to have bid on our project. Once the companies who were interested responded, I evaluated them and determined which one I believed would meet our project expectations. Finally, I was in charge of our regional database system; therefore, prior to leaving I made sure all expectations for the database were met and that it was ready to be put to use. 
Saying goodbye to Venezuelan roommate, Sara,
at the airport

Aside from wrapping up projects, I was busy saying goodbye to all of the remarkable friends I had met over the summer. I made friends from Venezuela, El Salvador, Serbia, Jamaica, the Bahamas, and many more! Each one was incredibly welcoming, which led to an even more incredible summer. 

I have to say, I was also more than blessed to have worked with the Western Hemisphere Team. I was sad to say goodbye to them as well. The team consisted of Marri Carrow, Regional Director; Luis Bustamante, Marketing Specialist; Egna Rodriguez, Regional Programs Manager; Constantino Ruiz, Accountant; and Kathy Luque, Administrative Assistant. Each staff member contributed greatly to my experience. I will forever be thankful for their hospitality and their dedication to helping me learn and grow professionally. 

Overall, this summer was full of learning experiences in the agricultural industry. I became more aware of the importance of internal relations and how the U.S. Grains Council works diligently, to not only make a lasting impact on the United States, but the entire world as well. This internship is one that I will forever remember and forever be grateful for. Thank you to both the U.S. Grains Council and the Nebraska Corn Board for giving me the opportunity of a lifetime. 

Hasta Pronto Panama! (See you soon Panama)

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