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Hotel Internship at an Eco Resort in Bangladesh

Posted by on March 31st, 2014

Title: Hotel Intern

Number of Open Positions: 2

Location: Jessore, Bangladesh

Duration: 8 weeks

Salary: 15,000 Tk/ month living stipend (room, board, and transportation within Bangladesh are provided; students are responsible for their own transportation to and from Bangladesh)

Job Description:
Panigram Resort will be a socially and environmentally responsible spa resort located in southern Bangladesh. We are developing a luxury boutique resort with a spa and wellness center that protects the natural and cultural heritage of Bangladesh, provides authentic and distinctive travel experiences to discerning travelers, promotes sustainable development, and improves the quality of life in the host community. The hotel interns will help with the hospitality training of the villagers and creating the standard operating procedure manual as well as other miscellaneous pre-opening activities.  Interns also act as ambassadors for Panigram Resort in our host community and are expected to participate in other activities with the villagers such as Friday English lessons with children and movie night.

You will be staying in the newly constructed staff quarters at the resort property. The rooms are clean and modern and you will have your own private bathroom, but there is no air conditioning.

Interns are given some basic Bangla lessons when they arrive so that they can communicate with the villagers. The Bangladeshi people are very warm and hospitable and our past interns have formed some strong bonds with the community.

The environment is one of work and play where you can take a pottery class in our pottery village, go on a cow cart ride, take a night time boat ride, and truly experience Bangladeshi village life. The resort is currently under construction so you will be a part of the pre-opening process.

Qualifications:
•    Hotel major
•    Has completed at least their sophomore year
•    Independent worker
•    Comfortable working in foreign cultures

To Apply:
Please send your resume and a cover letter explaining why you are interested in the internship to hr@panigram.com with the subject “Hotel Internship” by May 1, 2014. (Applications without cover letters will not be accepted.)

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ULAB Professor Helps Bring Organic Farming to Our Village

Posted by on June 30th, 2013

This week Panigram was host to Shafiqul Islam, a professor from the University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh. He came to assist the interns in refining the plan for the organic farming test plot. Professor Shafiq is well versed in the methodology and theory behind organic farming as he was actually an organic farmer before he became a professor.

Shafiqul Islam, professor of organic farming at the University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh (ULAB), and Dudu, a local farmer, discuss the benefits of organic farming.

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2013 Summer Interns Arrive!

Posted by on June 5th, 2013

This is the fifth year that Panigram Resort has hosted summer interns. This year the interns are helping to introduce organic farming into the area and are assisting Nazmeen with the English and hospitality lessons in the village.

Clark Austin

Clark Austin

I am a self described nerd and Biologist that comes from San Diego, California. I have been studying biology for the last nine years. In my schooling I have specialized in botany, ecology, and entomology. While working at Panigram this summer I am concluding two multi-year studies on two separate endangered plant species endemic to Southern California.

I am very excited to start working on an organic farming program in the local village that Panigram is located in. While organic farming is big in America, it has a limited market here in Bangladesh and the possibilities are endless.  I am hoping to utilize my knowledge of plants and insects to facilitate a successful program that will not only benefit the local farmers with higher market prices for their crops, but also increase the health of the ecosystem at large.

I grew up on the east coast of the United States and have traveled extensively. I like to cook very much and as a result wherever I travel I always make it a priority to try the local foods. Having never been to Asia, I am very excited to see a whole new side of humanity, and new forms of food I have never encountered.

Jordan Gascon

Jordan Gascon

Hello my name is Jordan Gascon and I am from San Diego, CA. I studied international security and conflict resolution and specialized in conflict, conflict resolution and cooperation at San Diego State University. I continued my studies at Norwich University in Vermont and received my Master’s in Diplomacy and specialized in international conflict management. I have always been a problem solver and a people person. Throughout my studies I have had the opportunity to visit many different countries including Estonia, Guatemala, Mexico, and Russia.

In each country I realized that I was inherently interested in the people’s culture and religions. I found myself trying to learn their language and teach them a little bit of English in order to facilitate better communication. I hope to be able to help the English program and the Panigram Apprenticeship program in developing stronger staff at the resort. In addition to my studies, I have worked as a biology research assistant in the Ecology Department at San Diego State for  four years. This experience has helped me develop a love of plants and sustainable agriculture. It will be a great honor to help the other interns bring sustainable organic farming to the villages of Bangladesh.

My goals for this internship are to develop lasting relationships with the local population, learn conversational Bangla, improve the English abilities of each English class, learn a little hotel/ resort management skills, and take away a better understanding of the lives of people living in poverty.

Savaila

Savaila

Greetings! I am Savaila, Pakistani native, pursuing a B.S. in Development Studies and Economics from the Asian University of Women Bangladesh. My policy interests are poverty and inequality, community and international development and social entrepreneurship. I love learning, sharing my knowledge, experiencing cultures different from my own, travelling, adventure, music, and surfing the net. This last interest led me to the internship at Panigram Resort. Various projects of Panigram resort are giving back to the community to empower those from disadvantaged communities in Panigram.  I am currently working on the organic farming project at Panigram. We had a meeting last week with some of the local farmers, and I was excited by how interested they are to work with us. So far, we have planned to do research on the prices of the vegetables and fruits in the different steps of the chain of selling vegetables and fruits. I am excited to be an intern and looking forward to work on the project.

Syeda Jeena

Syeda Jeena

Assalamu Alaikum! This is Syeda Jeena from Chittagong, Bangladesh, studying BSS in Economics and Mathematics, in an international university named Asian University for Women. By being fortunate of living with multicultural people and by learning about their culture and countries, I have always been excited to visit their places. However, before visiting the neighboring countries, I have always thought of visiting at least the 7 divisions of my mother country, Bangladesh. I have been living in Chittagong, the 2nd largest division of Bangladesh. Beside the capital Dhaka, this city is called the 2nd capital of Bangladesh. I visited Dhaka, Comilla, Chittagong Hill tracts, Coxs’ Bazaar, Sylhet, and Khulna. Just a few days before, I arrived in Jessore in order to do my Summer Internship this year here at Panigram.

When I first saw the webpage of Panigram, I was totally amazed by its mission and vision. I could guess to learn more about this project alongside the underprivileged people’s lifestyle by working with the people in Panigram. Panigram is truly an amazing place to stay. The people here and their hospitality, the food and the environment are excellent. I was truly stunned to see the innovative ideas and design of the cottages and the inside furniture and other materials that were used in the construction of the resort. All the materials are Bangladeshi which makes me really proud.

I am working now with my group mates to build the organic farming initiative here at Panigram in order to promote healthy crop production. We have been working with the farmers and villagers. The field work is very exciting, enjoyable, and knowledgeable.  I hope to learn many more new things from this summer work and come back here again after the resort is open.

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A Vision for the Handicraft Village

Posted by on June 26th, 2012

Villagers displaying their Nakshi Katha embroidery work

There’s a large group of villagers crowding around. It seems like the whole community has come out to witness me take pictures.  I’m assisting Andrew (Andy) Pike, the Social Entrepreneur Intern from Cornell University to document the women with their handicraft. As I’m photographing each person with her handiwork, I hear a cheerful “Khub bhalo!” repeatedly behind me. It’s coming from Andy who’s inspecting the women’s embroidery work.  I can’t help but chuckle because it’s one of the few Bangla phrases that we interns know. “Khub bhalo” means “very good” and it also happens to be one of Andy’s favorite phrases.  In fact, he and the other intern, Shu, love to say it in reply to any statement or question that’s said to them. But this time, the phrase is used in the right context. Read the rest of this entry »

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Cornell Summer Interns Arrive!

Posted by on June 11th, 2012

Summer is here and so are the interns! This year we have four students, all from Cornell University: a hotel intern, an architecture intern, an entrepreneurship intern, and a landscape architecture/media intern. This summer the interns are working on some of our socially responsible initiatives, from designing our handicraft village to hospitality training for our village employees. Their adventure has already begun with visits to the Panigram Resort site, villages, and Sundarbans–one of the largest mangrove forests in the world and a UNESCO World Heritage Center.

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Shuping Liu

Shuping Liu

Hello! My name is Shuping Liu and I am the architecture intern at Panigram Resort. I’m an architecture major in my fourth year at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. Coincidentally, I was born in Syracuse, which is only one hour from Ithaca; however, I grew up in Taipei, Taiwan. With my free time I enjoy reading, running and fixing up old bikes. You can check out some of my work at www.shupingliu.com.

As part of Panigram Resort, my main responsibilities will include planning the nearby handicraft village. I will be investigating how the villagers use and build their homes to inform the architecture of proposed market spaces, workrooms and plazas.  My summer experience in Bangladesh has already been unique and rewarding. I am looking forward to putting my skills to use but also to learn from the local villagers. I can’t wait to learn how to tie my new lungi.

 

Yohana Tsegai

Yohana Tsegai

My name is Yohana Tsegai. I am currently a junior in the School of Hotel Administration at Cornell University. Although many people here confuse me for a local Bangladeshi, I was born in Asmara, Eritrea in East Africa. At the age of three, my family and I moved to Houston, Texas in America. No cowboy hats or boots for me, but I’m a proud Texan nonetheless. I’m one of four children — the only girl with three brothers – so I’m pretty independent. I love to travel, especially when I can visit my relatives who live all over the world.

While here at Panigram Resort, I will be in charge of creating a training program for more than 200 employees in a variety of positions. The training will include activities, video modules, and written and verbal exams. I will also be helping the Human Resource Manager craft HR policies that will take into consideration the local culture and customs. I am looking forward to helping Panigram Resort set the standard as Bangladesh’s first five-star resort.

 

Katherine Li

Katherine Li

Asalam elaiykum! My name is Kathy and I was born and raised in the crazy city of Los Angeles, California. I am currently pursuing my master’s degree in landscape architecture and next year will be my final year at Cornell University.  One of my greatest passions is to travel; I have visited more than 20 countries thus far. Most of my travels have taken me to Asia where I love to eat, shop and learn about the area’s culture and architecture.  Spending a year in Japan and traveling inspired me to go back to school to learn more about design and the environment.  I hope to focus my last year of study on sustainability and how it can be applied to ecotourism. As the summer Media Intern at Panigram, my job will be to publicize the activities leading up to the resort’s opening next year.  I am excited to be part of a project that is committed to helping the people in Bangladesh as well as the local environment.

 

Andrew Pike

Andrew Pike

My name is Andrew Pike and I believe in development through business. Growing up and working in East Africa over the past 20 years has taught me that business, as a profit maximizer, is inherently more efficient than aid and is a large part of the solution to poverty.

At the age of 18, I became a social entrepreneur by starting my own small not-just-for-profit business. My business creates eye-catching laptop cases out of ‘Kitenge’, a traditional African fabric with intricate, colorful patterns. Everything is made in formerly war-torn Northern Uganda and allows Mama Lucy, a remarkable local entrepreneur, to expand her tailoring business and to put the 10 children she supports through school. I stress that this is business, not charity.

Panigram, which is energizing the local economy around Jessore, shares my ideals. I am excited to start my main project—a crafts village for disadvantaged women, which will provide them with a self-sustaining and long term flow of income. By selling directly to the tourists, the women are able to get higher and fairer prices and eliminate exploitative middle men.

I study Applied Economics and Management with a specialization in International Trade and Development at Cornell University. I am an avid reader of science fiction, a lover of music, disco boogie, and all things jolly. My ‘to-learn’ list includes headstands, salsa dancing and ironing. Traveling makes me feel alive and I aspire to make the most of the opportunities that cross my path. Folks, the aim is to live the dream.

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A Comprehensive Guide to the Bangladeshi Transport System

Posted by on July 6th, 2011

Our arrival into Dhaka on a hartal (strike) day left us naively optimistic about the state of Bangladeshi roads. 36 hours spent in the car over the following few days, on the edge of our seats whilst our driver casually avoided numerous head-on collisions, quickly set us straight. Native Bangladeshis, it seems, have an uncanny sixth sense for dodging, weaving and horn-honking: skills that are all entirely necessary on the narrow, overcrowded roads. Until fairly recently, however, our transportation methods have remained relatively luxurious, in comparison to the wide range of two, three and four wheeled contraptions that we have seen. Most vehicles resemble something close to a three wheeled car or a bicycle, with either seats or a trailer tacked onto the back, depending on what needs to be transported. Cars are a rare sight; the one lane roads are occupied by hordes of highly decorated rickshaws, auto-rickshaws, Easy Bikes (electric auto-rickshaws), trucks, buffalo-drawn carts, bicycles, buses, vans, nosimons (auto-vans) and pedestrians.

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Exploring Bangladeshi Mud Architecture

Posted by on June 29th, 2011

Kar ghor eta? Rahna ghor kothay? Ke ekhane thake?
Whose room is this? Where is the kitchen? Who stays here?

 

A woman outside of her mud home in one of the villages near the Panigram site.

Over the last couple weeks, we three interns explored a village near the Panigram site to learn about the Bangladeshi homestead. Read the rest of this entry »

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