Meet Our International Intern: Monika Stekowski, CBYX

It’s officially intern season. For us, however, it’s kind of always that time.

All year long, we facilitate internship and on-the-job training programs in the United States, through our role as a J-1 Visa sponsor, and more than 30 countries around the world for thousands of students and working professionals.

We extol the value of these experiences for many reasons, one of which is because every year in our very own offices we witness firsthand #WhyHostingMattersThis year, we have welcomed international interns from Berlin, Mumbai, and São Paulo to learn alongside our staff and make meaningful contributions to our daily work.

Today, we invite you to get to know one of them: Monika

Meet Monika

What motivated you to pursue an internship in the United States?

Getting to know the American work environment and experience how or if it differs from that in Germany was something that particularly interested me. Pursuing an internship here was a way of “testing the grounds”. Also, after falling even more in love with New York after my semester at NYU, it was a major goal of mine to come back to the city to live here for an extended period of time.

What do you hope to gain from this experience?

I hope to gain an even better understanding of U.S. culture and immerse myself in the American work environment. I also hope to improve my communication skills, grow professionally, and expose myself to unfamiliar tasks and situations that help me learn new perspectives, approaches, and skills.

Most of all, however, I look forward to meeting great new people and friends.

What are 3 things people might be surprised to know about you?

  1. I can count to ten and order a chicken sandwich in Turkish.
  2. I started watching football at the age of twelve because of David Beckham and finally became a fan of the English National Team (which is considered almost a deadly sin in Germany).
  3. In my opinion, ice cream is a perfectly fine breakfast food.

How do you expect this experience to benefit you upon returning home?

I think I will return home with a much improved skill set and feeling much more comfortable speaking English. I also truly believe that a thorough internship like mine in New York City will help boost my resume.

Most of all, I think this internship and some time away from my usual surroundings and out of my comfort zone will help me to focus on what I want to do afterwards and as my next career step.

What’s a common misconception about your country?

Obviously, not everybody in Germany wears lederhosen and dirndl all the time (or never, if you are from Berlin). The obsession with beer however is a very true stereotype 🙂

What I find a very common misconception is that Germans are particularly efficient and always punctual. While it is understood as a very German characteristic and Germans are proud of these traits, I can’t confirm it to be necessarily true.

What are you looking forward to most during your time here?

Summer! I can’t wait for summer in NYC. I also look forward to meeting amazing people and taking advantage of all the events, concerts, and opportunities this great city has to offer.

Do you have any hobbies?

I love baking. My go-to staples are chocolate cake with Earl Grey frosting, chocolate espresso cheesecake, and my grandma’s Polish cheesecake. I have yet to figure out how my American oven works, however.

I am also passionate about sports (watching sports however. I’m not a great fan of moving myself). I spend way too much time watching NBA games, and as a Knicks fan, sometimes too much time wiping my tears.

Best meal you’ve had in the US so far?

Where do I start? “P.H.O. Real” sandwich at Sunny and Annie’s (“The Ali” is also great!). Pulled Pork, a friend from North Carolina made. Junior’s cheesecake (yes, cake is a meal). One of my first experiences with “American” food: waffles soaked in butter and maple syrup and hash browns at Waffle House in Atlanta. The list is endless…

The one thing you miss most about home?

My family and friends and my two cats aside? Good currywurst and slowly the hunger for döner sets in.

Our three NYC-based interns and their supervisors. From L to R: Anya, Rafael, Amanda, Monika, Katja, and Christon.


Learn more about the J-1 Visa, our role in CBYX, a reciprocal U.S.-German exchange program, and opportunities to host international interns at your organization.