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Internship Spotlight: Nich Leaman

Nich Internship Experience SmallNich Leaman ‘17 is a Finance and Accounting major from Lancaster, PA. Nich interned with Inca Link in Quito, Ecuador.

  1. Where did you intern this summer and what was your position title?

Last summer I interned with Inca Link in Quito, Ecuador. Inca Link is made up of multiple missions organizations that reach youth in Latin America with Christ’s love through evangelism and discipleship. As a summer intern, I worked on financial projects for Inca Link, lead short term missions teams that came to Quito throughout the summer and was involved with Cumbre Alta, a sports discipleship ministry.

  1. How did you secure your internship?

After going to Ecuador with Grove City’s soccer team in the summer of 2014, I felt called to go back to Ecuador. I contacted the Coach of Cumbre Alta, one of the teams we played, who connected me with the missions organization, Inca Link which supports Cumbre Alta. I worked with Inca Link to create an internship that would encompass both finance and soccer. I was blown away by the support from my family and friends which helped make my summer internship possible.

  1. What are the top three takeaways you learned while interning?
  1. Leadership

I have participated in short term missions in the past, but this internship was my first experience leading people. I enjoyed answering questions and solving problems. I also had the chance to lead soccer practices for a younger soccer team. I learned skills that will help me in whatever career I end up pursuing.

  1. Missions is Hard

I was only in Ecuador for two months, but I learned how much missionaries sacrifice to perform their jobs. While the work was extremely rewarding, it was not easy. Through my internship with Inca Link I got a taste of what missions work would be like if God called me to return to Ecuador or somewhere else in the future.

  1. Learned to Rely on God

I learned quickly that I did not have enough energy for what was required of me every day. I worked on Inca Links’s financials and prepared the house for new missions teams during the day and practiced with Cumbre Alta at night. I often felt inadequate, but I learned to trust in God and lean into Him for my strength. I could not have gotten through every day without trusting God to give me enough energy for the day.

  1. Do you have any advice for students who are looking for internships?

My advice would be to start early and use your connections. I knew I loved Ecuador after my trip with the soccer team, but didn’t know all the opportunities existed with Inca Link. Grove City’s soccer team’s relationship with Cumbre Alta eventually lead to my internship. I loved my internship with Inca Link and it was much more than just a summer internship. I hope more Grove City students take the opportunity to serve in Ecuador in the future.

  1. What was your favorite part of the internship?

My favorite part of my experience was definitely the relationships! I built great friendships with other Inca Link interns. We spent the first week all together in Quito before traveling to our different locations. I also built great relationships with the people who worked for Inca Link. Our house parents were strong Christians and we had many great conversations. But the best part of my internship was the friendships I made with Cumbre Alta players. Although my Spanish improved by the end of my time in Ecuador, I did not speak the language very well so often times it was challenging to communicate with the players. But I was surprised by how easy it was to connect over soccer. It was great to see how a passion for soccer could unite completely different people. I am really thankful for my time in Ecuador and all the relationships I was able to build.

  1. How will your internship experience serve you in your career search?

My experience with Inca Link and Cumbre Alta opened my heart to missions and to Ecuador. I love soccer and finance and this internship allowed me to put my two passions together. I am not sure where God will call me after graduation, but I know my internship with Inca Link taught me leadership skills and to rely on God for my strength.

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