Only a Knock Away: Interning at the World Trade Center Institute

Asha Shetler (WTCI Summer HR Intern and InBaltimore Cohort 2022)

Even though I joined the World Trade Center Institute (WTCI) as a Human Resources intern for Summer 2022, it already feels like I’m part of the WTCI family. In fact, the best part of the internship so far is how friendly and accessible every employee, manager, and even CEO is; everyone is only a knock on the door or Slack message away.  

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When I applied for this internship, I was told I’d have some great opportunities and learning experiences. But to be honest, I just thought that was something every internship said to get prospective interns interested. Luckily for me, I was very wrong.  

The First Five Days 

In only five days, I have: 

  • Attended a conference; 
  • Met a number of people with high-ranking positions in high-ranking companies; 
  • Researched and written about HR-related subjects; 
  • Learned the breadth and depth of the world of HR;  
  • Spoken with the WTCI CEOs; 
  • Learned about what working in a non-profit is like; and  
  • Was even selected to introduce our keynote speaker (Zainab Salbi) at an event with 400 attendees! 
WTCI is located right on the water in the beautiful Inner Harbor! 

Quick Conference Recap  

The conference I attended gave me a taste of what WTCI does as a company. They inspire, innovate, educate, and connect. I was able to listen in on a talk and discussion led by Don Manekin, co-founder of Seawall Development, and Thibault Manekin, partner of Seawall Development. The talk wasn’t your everyday “how to be a better leader and grow your business,” but rather the responsibilities of being a leader and how to give back to and support your community. I left the session feeling incredibly inspired, empowered, and humbled.  

After the conference, I was also invited to the reception. Here, I was able to meet and speak with a number of people, all with important roles in various companies. One of the WTCI CEOs was kind enough to introduce me to a leader in the HR field, who quickly offered to connect me with his company.  

I have to say, I was not expecting a connection like that so close to the start of my internship! 

The Folks at the World Trade Center Institute 

As I mentioned before, everyone in the company is very open to communication. This includes the two CEOs, Eddie Resende and Susan Aplin, who are both very admirable leaders and people. I’ve had the pleasure of speaking to them both on several occasions, and they are both very warm and supportive people.  

In fact, Eddie is the one who introduced me to a leader in the HR field, as mentioned earlier, and Susan is the one who invited me to introduce the keynote speaker at our Women Spanning the Globe conference! I thought I’d be more in the background for large events such as this, but I am very grateful and honored to have such a significant role. 

The conference I’ll be speaking at! 

The Field of Human Resources 

For my actual role in HR, I have learned a great deal about the field and am looking forward to learning even more! I have gotten a taste of research, writing newsletter articles, and revising policies. In the future, I am looking forward to learning about operating HRIS (the human resources information system), onboarding procedures, and more! 

Overall, it is clear the company is dedicated to giving me the best internship experience possible. They aren’t giving me menial tasks like getting coffee and typing notes. Instead, they’re fully immersing me in the company and the HR world. I am extremely grateful for both the InBaltimore program and WTCI for giving me this wonderful opportunity! I can’t wait to see what other skills I’ll learn and memories I’ll make throughout the rest of the internship.  

All the in-person WTCI interns!

If you enjoyed this article and would like more information about WTCI or me, visit, or connect with me on LinkedIn ( Thanks for reading! 

By Contributor