My name is Marta Bono, and for my school’s senior project I was supposed to do an internship for a month wherever I wanted. I decided to contact Global Cleveland because I heard a little bit about what they do with immigrants and refugees, which really interested me since I want to study international relations next year in college. Global Cleveland soon contacted me back and gave me the opportunity to do the internship with them. I was a little bit nervous because I have never had a real job before, so to be exposed to such a professional environment was out of my comfort zone. Nevertheless, since day one, the Global Cleveland staff has integrated me as part of their team and has made me feel welcomed.

I was lucky to be doing this internship during the month of May because so many things happened. Global Cleveland held the first Sister Cities Conference in Cleveland. Then, there was an event with all the board members in which I was allowed to attend. It was very educational for me to hear all the speaker’s presentations because now I feel like I have a better understanding on how a business of such high-level works, and the whole purpose of Global Cleveland. Soon after that event, Global Cleveland took me to the courthouse to observe how a naturalization ceremony works. People from every part of the world were seated in the same room in pursuit of the same objective, to become a US citizen.  This was such an amazing experience for me to see in person. People were full of relief and emotion to be able to leave their citizenship behind and give up their country, to become an American. I participated in another event called, the Global Employer Summit, also organized by Global Cleveland. I talked to a few people who attended the event, and they all had awesome things to say. The best part though was listening to every speaker’s story and research on why it is so necessary to hire immigrants and refugees. Studies really do prove how companies that hire more immigrants and refugees, who hire international talent, help improve companies’ productivity.

Even though I am an intern, Global Cleveland gave me some highly responsible jobs. For example, Global Cleveland supports an organization called Sister Cities. I was asked to conduct research about the history of each Sister City member. Therefore, I was taken to the beautiful Case Western Reserve Library and was allowed to look through any document about Sister Cities. I have to say that Sister Cities has further made me realize the importance of cultural exchanges in order to improve and expand communities. Since I speak Italian, Global Cleveland gave me the huge responsibility of encouraging Vicenza, our Italian Sister City. I wrote the mayor of Vicenza an email in which his secretary responded. Every time that I accomplished something, the Global Cleveland staff acknowledged it and congratulated me. This behavior encouraged my motivation to do my best here.

In terms of success, Global Cleveland has taught me that behind every successful company there is an incredible team, and above all, great leadership, in this case, conducted by Joe Cimperman. So thank you so much Global Cleveland for being so open to gratefully accept me to work with you for a month, and teaching me a life lesson that I will remember for when I will get my future, professional job.