A Post-harvest Internship

Filed Under: EARTH Stories
Date: November 27th, 2023

Daniela Maroto (’24, Costa Rica) had never left Costa Rica until a few weeks ago, when she traveled first to Mexico for a few days of training and then to Santander, Colombia for her International Internship at Robinson Fresh supervising the Tahitian lime packing company called Gramaluz who exports to the United States and Europe. Daniela, who is in her third year at EARTH, is fulfilling a dream to experience other places and learn as much as she can, which has helped her grow tremendously.

“First, I traveled with my bosses to Mexico, where we visited several companies to learn about issues and conditions when exporting agricultural products to the United States and how to control the quality of the limes. Now, in Colombia, I am in charge of verifying that the production of each box of limes has no damage, following certain parameters. I have had to learn to stand my ground and give feedback to others to improve processes. I also visit farms, verify crop projections, and deal directly with farmers,” explains Daniela.

According to Daniela, her internship hosts have been essential to her success. Working in an environment where about 90% of the employees are men, the company connected her with an Agronomist to guide her and give her key advice from a woman’s perspective on how to succeed. In addition, it has been enriching for her to feel that her role is essential and her relationship with her supervisors, and work team is based on respect and admiration.

Working in post-harvest, Daniela has found that she can mix several areas of agriculture: being in the field with the growers, learning about export processes in the packing house, and participating in the logistics and everything that goes into getting the fruit to international markets in the best possible way. Thanks to her internship experience, she hopes to specialize and develop professionally in post-harvest.

“I feel the University has given me a lot of knowledge and tools that have been reinforced even more through the Internship. EARTH has taught me to treat people as equals and to work as a team, and I think having lived in a multicultural environment has helped me. In Colombia, it has been easy to adapt because we live that every day at the University. I carry with me the EARTHian spirit where we always want to help the farmers and look for better conditions for the communities,” she says.

International Internship is an essential course in completing EARTH’s academic experience. For a period of three months, third-year students travel to different countries around the world to work and put their tools and knowledge into practice in companies, organizations, universities, and governmental institutions. This opportunity allows students to face the world, work, gain new experiences, and grow as professionals and individuals. Internship is, without a doubt, one of the elements that makes our academic curriculum so unique and enriching for the student body.

We wish Daniela continued success during her Internship!