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Gift Maker Experiences – Michelle Ammaan

Updated: Nov 25, 2020 is open for students and graduates from all over the world to take the opportunity to do an internship (gift maker program) at This year, we had an intern coming from ETH Zurich, Switzerland. She is Michelle Ammann or known as Michelle. She is a Swiss-Chilean and is studying Environmental Science at ETH Zurich. She absolved her obligatory internship of 4 months at as a Research Assistant where she supported the research team in different projects such as proposals, research papers, and a policy brief.

Why did you decide to join as a research assistant?

“After reading into the company’s philosophy, I decided to apply for the research assistant internship as it appealed to me the most as during my studies. I had gained more technical knowledge and wanted to learn more about the policymaking processes.” She said, the mission of is quite inspiring which also encourages her to apply for an internship at In the last few years, we also had two interns from the same university as Michele, ETH Zurich.

After a few months of working with gift makers, what part did you like the most?

“The work environment at is really special and unique. Because it is a small think tank, everybody works closely and helps each other when necessary” said Michelle. At, we work in a multicultural environment as we are open to interns from many different backgrounds. As a think-do-be-tank, we do not only work on research but also on creating solutions and products to achieve our vision to create a sustainable and resilient community (be) that can transform good intentions and deep thought (think) into direct action (do). “Besides the company’s structure, the team consists of people with diverse backgrounds, that makes working together interesting and I was able to learn a lot from them” she added.

What did you learn from this company?

Being part of the research team, Michelle feels that she has learned a lot about the processes and types of work that is done for the different projects. She also learned about how important it is to give and receive feedback to get good results. During her internship, she also got the chance to work on the project with the other organizations. “This was also interesting to work on projects with important institutes such as the Stockholm Environmental institute,” said Michelle.

“Besides work, have learned small lessons that are useful in life, such as critical thinking and communication when doubts come up” she added.

Is there any change you feel before and after the internship?

After a few months of working as a research assistant, Michelle feels that she definitely learned some know-how for research, like writing and how project management works. This internship has prepared her for her upcoming studies and I also learned more about her working style. Moreover, the unexpected situation, the global pandemic also gives her a lesson learned. “Besides work, the stay in Bali has been an enriching experience over the past few months, even during the global coronavirus pandemic. With the COVID-19 pandemic, I also have learned how resilient people and the workplace must be to survive. This circumstance made me realize how flexible we must be confronting big changes within the company’s structure” said Michelle.

For those who would like to take the leap

“If you have the chance to make an internship in a country you never have been, I would take it, as it can give a new perspective to life and you can get to know a whole new culture. From doing an internship in a small company, such as, can give you insights on a lot of different levels, from activities like coffee grinding to proposal writing and tasks regarding project management” closed Michelle

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