Stephen Manker ’12 is spending his summer in Medellin, Colombia writing for Colombia Reports, the country’s most-read English language newspaper.
“It’s always been a goal of mine to work in Latin America. I knew that I wanted to create my own experience, instead of sightseeing and traveling with a group of students,” says Manker, an economics major and Latin American studies minor.
After applying to variety of internships throughout South America, Manker realized that his ability to speak fluent Spanish would help him in his search, and that his experience as a writer would also prove valuable. Manker then applied for internships within the media and communications sector.
Shortly after landing the position at Colombia Reports, Manker received a grant from the Charles H. Salisbury Fund as well as from other Colleges’ funds to help with expenses.
In the short time he has written for the paper, Manker has gained valuable insight into the day to day challenges of news writers and the responsibility a job in journalism entails.
“I have learned about the power of information, and the obligation journalists have to provide people with clear, unbiased news on a daily basis,” explains Manker. “I’ve written about everything from political scandals to human rights offenses, and in the process interviewed a number of interesting people. Journalism is a fantastic field to work in if you are willing to immerse yourself in a variety of different fields.”
Through his work, not only does Manker find that he is able to express himself more clearly and effectively, but he is also to connect his own interests to his work. An avid fan of live music, Manker often reviews local performances and even had the opportunity to attend Rock al Parque, the largest rock music event in Latin America, with a backstage pass.
Additionally, Manker’s love of hiking has allowed him to work with a local hiking magazine, El Caminero, exploring the region’s most challenging climbs. Manker recently met with the magazine’s editor to make plans for a two-day expedition to southern Antioquia to explore the rainforest and mountains.
“Without a doubt, this experience has proven helpful for my studies. Whether I am writing articles about Colombia’s economy, or chatting with a friend in Spanish, I am constantly developing the skills I’ve acquired as an economics major and Latin American studies minor,” says Manker. “I am going to arrive on campus this fall with command of the Spanish language, strong writing skills and a deep knowledge about Colombia and Latin American history.”