Interning Abroad ….. At Home
It is needless to say that this summer turned out to be very different for everyone to what they thought it would be like. I saw myself moving to London and being an intern for a non-for profit over the summer, learning more about the sector and gaining work experience that would help me to settle in the charitable sector after my graduation. Although, I was not able to move to London, I found an amazing internship opportunity at IARS and I honestly cannot believe that I have been part of this great team for four months already.
From the first conversation with Maija, I knew that IARS was a special organisation that cares a lot about their interns and does not treat them as such, but as a valid part of their team. Working from home can be a challenge, especially if you are new to it, but Maija and Romina were very supportive and I could contact them anytime I had a question or even just to have a quick catch up call, which was nice and made me feel included. Although being in the office would have probably been easier, I think this experience made me more confident and proactive in a way, because you can’t just quickly ask someone for advice (although I know everyone would have happily helped me via phone), but you are forced to make your own decisions and to take the initiative.
As the communications and social research intern I was involved in many exciting projects and I was able to take part in a variety of trainings that are not only valuable for my future career, but also for my personal development and they complement the theoretical skills I learned in university. Working for IARS made me realise that I really enjoy writing and researching about topics I take special interest in and I will look to build on my writing skills further. I also learned a great deal about the European Union and its members states, as many of the projects I conducted research in are European projects. It was also interesting for me to see how fast organisations can adapt to critical situations like a pandemic and the new possibilities that evolve from those situations and I think IARS did really well in accommodating their interns during this time.
One of my highlights has to be the Social Enterprise World Forum that took place online this year due to COVID19. However, I was able to listen to many interesting talks and discussions and I am very grateful that IARS made it possible for me to be part of it, as I got to know amazing projects and organisations that work around the world towards a better future and I am positive that all this new input will definitely help me in my future career.
I want to say a big thank you to the IARS team at this point for giving me this opportunity and I won’t forget this experience.
BY ANNIKA HEINRICH