Case study

OBCR intern — Ian Clark

Ian took the Outward Bound Costa Rica (OBCR) Coast-to-Coast Semester course before securing an internship with the organisation

Tell us more about the course you completed.

The Coast-to-Coast course I took part in was a mix of scuba diving, surfing, sea kayaking, waterfall repelling, white water rafting, certificate training, and volunteering expeditions with the main adventure being a 26-day hike from the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica all the way across the country to the Caribbean Coast.

I took this course as a way to broaden my view of the world and gain some much-needed introspection of who I was as a person. During my final year of high school, I was reluctant about following the typical approach of going straight to university and did enough research to realise that it wasn't the only option. The semester I took with OBCR is arguably the most impactful experience I've ever had.

What was the OBCR application process like?

The application process was straight forward and aided with great communication from the marketing office. There weren't any big hoops to jump through; it just took some time to make sure everything was in order. 

Describe your experience with OBCR in five words.

  • impactful
  • fulfilling
  • exhilarating
  • challenging
  • beautiful.

How did you get your instructor intern job at OBCR? 

I believe being chosen for an intern position stemmed from my passion for the outdoors, learning, and trying to be the best leader I could be while I was on the course. I made great connections with the instructors and communicated my desire to come back as an intern one day. 

What's a typical day like?

Structured, but full of surprises. There is always a plan of attack in place for the day but being flexible and able to think on the fly is crucial for being an instructor. 

What part of the internship gave you the most satisfaction?

The most satisfying part was the opportunity to have an impact on kids the same way my instructors impacted me. The lessons I learned while I was a student are ones I still hold dearly, so the thought that my students might walk away from their course with more confidence, knowledge, and memories was the most satisfying part of working at OBCR. 

What were the challenges? 

Situations could be very stressful at times. Being responsible for students in a different country and sometimes in remote locations could be difficult, so keeping students in line was crucial for the safety of everyone. 

How did the experience help your future? 

I came out of my experience with OBCR with an entirely different view of the world. I had been out of the country and seen some incredible things prior to my course, but nothing came close to the challenges, memories, and fun I had with OBCR. I came back home with more respect, patience, and love for everything and everyone I missed while I was on the programme. I had a stronger sense of who I was and what I'm capable of if I set my mind to it. OBCR taught me more about myself in three months than I had learned in my entire school career.

What are your ambitions?

I have ambitions of being a business owner and building companies that not only do great things for people but also give back to the earth in the process.

I intend on travelling the world and seeing all the beauty that other continents and countries have to offer. My biggest ambition is to live my life full of adventure and love and have no regrets of the time I spent on this planet. 

What advice would you give to others considering OBCR opportunities?

If adventure is what you're after, it's hard to beat OBCR. When thinking of coming as a student, there can be a lot of doubt as to whether it's a good idea or that it may be too hard. I can assure you, you will not regret it. It can be challenging at times, but the most satisfying things in life do not come easy. The reward of completing a course with OBCR will continue years after it's done. Building confidence, knowledge, a broader worldview, and memories that will last a lifetime are more than enough reason to be a student with OBCR. 

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