Anamika just finished her year in the US in November. She lived in California and found positions in tech hot spot Silicon Valley. We asked her to tell us about her favorite memories in the US:
My J1 experience in the US couldn’t have been better! As I had traveled around America on multiple holidays with family and friends in previous years, my goal this time was to gain some valuable work experience. I was very lucky to work with two great employers! My first role was with the Silicon Valley Community Foundation. Here I worked as a Scholarship Associate, managing more than 30 of their scholarship programs for high school and college students in the Bay Area. Everyone was very welcoming and I fit into the team right away! My next job, which I got through a staffing agency, was a contract position at Facebook, a dream come true! When I first visited Facebook HQ in Menlo Park, I couldn’t believe I was there. It really is Disneyland for adults! As I was part of a large team, I made even more friends in this job and my time with Facebook was definitely the highlight of my J1 experience!
Outside of work, I would make frequent trips into San Francisco to explore more of the city. There was also a lot to see in Silicon Valley including the Intel Museum, Stanford University, Google HQ and the city of San Jose. I also went to San Diego one weekend with my roommate and has she had grown up there, I got to experience the city as a local! Towards the end of my visa, my brother visited me and we went to Seattle, Portland, Lake Tahoe, Yosemite and LA which was a lot of fun. I also got to show him the Bay Area from a local’s perspective which he greatly enjoyed.
Everyone I made friends with or met, including at work, the grocery store, local cafes and even my Uber drivers, were all super friendly and very curious to learn more about New Zealand. My accent was always the conversation starter! I’m so grateful for the J1 program and the fantastic experience I had. I gained highly valuable work experience, formed amazing new friendships and created some incredible memories.
I’ve been back home for a few months now and still can’t stop raving to my family and friends about my time in the US! Thanks again IENA for this wonderful experience!
Thanks to Anamika for sharing her SWT experience with IENA!
Interested in learning more about the program? Visit http://www.iena.org/programs-to-the-us/aus-nz-12-month-work-travel-program/