Intern Spotlight: Andrea Barrera
Asia Society Texas works with high school and university interns each semester through our Regions Bank Young Leaders Internship program. Under this program, we have partnered with various high schools and universities in the Greater Houston area to provide opportunities for students to engage with the broad swath of programs offered by Asia Society and learn more about nonprofit operations. Interns have worked in program development, research and curriculum-writing, outreach efforts, accounting and finance, and more. Through their time with Asia Society Texas, interns learn more about Asian art, history, and culture while gaining direct experience in a professional environment.
We'd like to shine a spotlight on one of our university interns Andrea Barrera, who works with our Education and Outreach department.
Learn a little more about Andrea and her internship experience below!
Name: Andrea Barrera
School: University of St. Thomas
Internship Duration: Fall 2021 - Present (Four-year placement beginning in Fall 2021)
Favorite project you’ve worked on during your internship: The Education Project. I love stories, mythology, and culture and this project brought them all together while researching Asian countries’ myths and mythological creatures.
Most interesting thing you’ve learned during your internship: On a trip to an elementary school for Lunar New Year I was able to talk to one of the professors who taught and was of Chinese descent. One thing I learned from him was the meaning of the Chinese dragon. The creature is a symbol of the unity of the country and the different parts of the dragon's body represent the regions of the country:
- Coastal Regions: fish scales
- Forest Regions: deer antlers
- Mountain Regions: mammal fur
- Flat/Farm Regions: chicken feet
My internship at Asia Society Texas interested me because of the relevance to my major of International Studies. Also, I have always had an interest in Asian culture and travel. With Asia Society’s international branches, I feel that there will be an opportunity to work in another branch.
I have worked on many research, presentation, and arts & crafts projects; I have enjoyed them all since there was always something to learn. For example, doing the research and presentation project for Mid-Autumn Festival (Taiwan and China), Chuseok (Korean Thanksgiving), and Moon Festival/Children’s Festival (Vietnam) I also learned more about the local Asian businesses in the Houston area. In another project, I gained knowledge about the Winter Celebrations in Asian countries including Lunar New Year.
Through the Festival of Eid project, I have learned about the Festival of al-Fitr and al-Adha through a mistake. There are two festivals of Eid and I had them confused; I mistook al-Adha for al-Fitr. Because of this mistake, I learned about both festivals instead of one.
The most recent project I have worked on has been about food in Asian countries which has helped me learn specifically about Indian cuisine.
I am open-minded and have many interests, so a career for me can be many things. I believe that Asia Society and our coordinator have the interns' best interests in mind. They have allowed us to be exposed to many departments. One department that has caught my attention is the Development Department. Hopefully, my time with this department will aid me in deciding on a concrete career for my future.
In this internship, I have been challenged to grow as a professional. Because of this, I know that my skills in communication, research, and logistics have improved. I appreciate all the guidance and help I received since what I learned will help with any job in my future.
Overall, this internship with Asia Society has been wonderful. I cannot wait to come back next year!
Business and Policy programs are endowed by Huffington Foundation. We give special thanks to Bank of America, Muffet Blake, Anne and Albert Chao, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, Nancy Pollok Guinee, and United Airlines, Presenting Sponsors of Business and Policy programs; Nancy C. Allen, Chinhui Juhn and Eddie Allen, and Leslie and Brad Bucher, Presenting Sponsors of Exhibitions; AARP, Sterling Turner Foundation, and Wells Fargo, Presenting Sponsors of Education & Outreach; Syamal and Susmita Poddar, Presenting Sponsors of Performing Arts & Culture; Mitsubishi Corporation (Americas), Sponsor of the Japan Series; and Regions Bank, Title Sponsor for the internship program. General support of programs and exhibitions is provided by The Brown Foundation, Inc., Houston Endowment, Inc., the City of Houston through Houston Arts Alliance, McKinsey & Company, Inc., National Endowment for the Arts, Texas Commission on the Arts, and Vinson & Elkins LLP, as well as Friends of Asia Society.
Title Sponsor for Internship Program
About Asia Society Texas
Asia Society Texas believes in the strength and beauty of diverse perspectives and people. As an educational institution, we advance cultural exchange by celebrating the vibrant diversity of Asia, inspiring empathy, and fostering a better understanding of our interconnected world. Spanning the fields of arts, business, culture, education, and policy, our programming is rooted in the educational and cultural development of our community — trusting in the power of art, dialogue, and ideas to combat bias and build a more inclusive society.