JoséM Maidana

The legacy of trust and partnership between the college’s entities and my internship played a background role in facilitating my internship experience, underscoring the influence of Lewis & Clark’s institutional connections.

JoséM Maidana BA '25



Degree and Class Year

BA ’25


Salta City, Argentina


Sociology and Anthropology, World Languages and Literatures


Entrepreneurial Leadership and Innovation

What three words would you use to describe L&C?

Embracing, Friendly, Exciting

Which Career Center program did you participate in?

Hu/Hsieh Internship Grant

Where did you intern this summer?

OKAPI Reusables, LLC, Portland, OR, United States

What did you do at your internship?

During my internship with OKAPI Reusables, I actively promoted sustainability, inclusivity, and community engagement. A significant part of my role centered on community outreach, especially in extending our support to BIPOC-owned cafes and networks of professionals engaged with multiple Chambers of Commerce. My efforts were instrumental in forging new bonds with BIPOC community organizations, further strengthening the breadth of our network. Beyond broadening our community ties, I took to heart the mission of ensuring OKAPI’s content was universally accessible. I was deeply involved in tailoring our message so that every Portlander, regardless of socio-economic status or language, could connect with our values and services.

Furthermore, the relationships I cultivated and nurtured with current café owners and managers in our network were of paramount importance. Through continuous communication and collaboration, we worked to improve the service, identify opportunities, and boost user adoption. My role also extended to the marketing realm. I became an essential component of the marketing team, suggesting local promotions, devising content for social media posts, and collaborating with businesses that shared our values for co-marketing opportunities. One of my highlights was the translation of OKAPI materials into Spanish. This endeavor allowed me to utilize my linguistic strengths and create content that resonated deeply with the Spanish-speaking community. Through these varied experiences, I learned the importance of content creation, community outreach, and the pivotal role of bridging the gap between marginalized communities and quality products or services.

How did Lewis & Clark’s Career Center support you in finding, securing, and/or funding your internship?

Lewis & Clark’s Career Center indirectly shaped my path to the internship with OKAPI Reusables. While a friend was the immediate source of information about the opportunity, I came to understand that the Career Center, in collaboration with the Bates Center, had prior associations with OKAPI. Their past collaborations and continued interest in working together created a foundation that paved the way for
students like myself to connect with such openings. The legacy of trust and partnership between the college’s entities and OKAPI played a background role in facilitating my internship experience, underscoring the influence of Lewis & Clark’s institutional connections. The Career Center’s staff, especially Nina Olken, have guided me to fully embrace this internship opportunity and make the most of

What’s your biggest takeaway from your internship?

The most significant insight I gained from my internship at OKAPI Reusables was a deep understanding of the complexities and nuances of developing and scaling reuse systems in a bustling cityscape like Portland. Beyond the mechanics of the project, what struck me profoundly was the genuine passion and commitment of the entire team. The unwavering dedication of the co-founders, complemented by their team’s expertise, exemplified how ardor and knowledge can coalesce to drive a noble mission. Their collective aspiration for a sustainable and inclusive tomorrow shaped the company’s ethos and profoundly influenced my perspective on the transformative power of passion in effecting change.

How is this internship connected to your career goals and/or future aspirations?

My experience at OKAPI Reusables is profoundly interwoven with my career visions and future endeavors. Aspiring to be a consultant for companies in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), the insights and hands-on exposure I received at OKAPI have prepared me for the complexities of this field. This internship enriched my understanding of sustainable strategies and delved deep into the realms of localization and translation management. Given the diverse demographic of Portland, ensuring that OKAPI’s messaging resonated with every community, especially the Latinx and BIPOC segments, became paramount. This pushed me to refine and apply my content localization and translation skills, ensuring that our outreach was both inclusive and effective. These competencies, I believe, will be instrumental as businesses increasingly recognize the importance of tailored communication in a globalized world. Coupled with my intent to engage with and uplift the Latinx and BIPOC communities continuously, my expertise in localization and translation solidifies my readiness to make a difference in both CSR consulting and community advocacy. The multidimensional learning at OKAPI is a testament to its alignment with my future trajectory.

Is there anything else you’d like to tell us about your experience?

Absolutely. One of the standout realizations during my time with OKAPI Reusables was witnessing the emphasis they place on their human capital. Despite being a smaller entity, their unwavering commitment to nurturing and valuing every team member was evident. The level of detail and care they invested in ensuring their staff’s well-being and professional growth was truly commendable. This approach not only fostered a positive and collaborative work environment but also reinforced the notion that the success of an organization is deeply intertwined with the well-being of its people. This experience with OKAPI has been eye-opening and a powerful reminder of the ethos I want to surround myself with and champion in
my future projects and job prospects.

Career Center Sociology and Anthropology World Languages Entrepreneurship