Matt Podolak – Envision Consulting, Amman, Jordan

See, it snows everywhere, not just here

Amman in the Snow
Photo: Matt Podolak

My internship for Envision Consulting was arranged by Amideast, the academic program that I was participating in during my fall semester in Jordan. The internship was actually part of a course being offered, but I opted not to receive credit for the course, and instead volunteered my time at the consultancy in order to remain busy during the semester.Envision Consulting is a company that was founded by a former member of the Jordanian government and PhD in economics. The company provides various trainings, reviews and analysis of Jordanian and Arab economic structures for both domestic consumption, as well as international (World Bank, U.N., etc) organizations. The office consisted of the owner and four young Jordanians, all whom had graduated at the top of their classes in their respective years at university.

I initially began working on an existing project that looked at the results of privatization of public entities, specifically the Jordanian electrical companies. Following that I wrote a paper for the director that developed a model for the Arab Spring, specifically the initial indicators of the revolutions, and the reasons that led to the overthrow of four long-standing governments.

The work environment was great in that the employees were around my age, and I was therefore able to ask numerous questions about the culture. They were all very nice and polite, and I learned a lot not only about the youth culture in Jordan, but also the types of jobs and opportunities available for the top performers of Jordanian universities. They were all very bright and capable, and it was a treat working with them. I enjoyed the internship quite a bit, not only for the research opportunities that were given to me, but also the cultural insights I gained as well. I probably should have spent a little bit more time working on my Arabic, but I don’t regret spending my time learning about the culture with them.