The semester long internship- a staple of the college experience. Yet, even the lucky candidates have to cross their fingers and pray that the position does not meet the Hollywood image of the experience – shredding files or fetching coffee. Luckily, our experience at UNAGB was far from it. Yes, there were a few sporadic post office, supply store and bank runs but the bulk of the duties focused on communication outreach and event planning. The work ranged from writing our very first WordPress blog and Tweets (I know shocking!) to kickstarting a Young Professional’s favorite Taste of event, to helping out at Cocktails with Consuls and the Women’s Forum. We were beyond fortunate to work with wonderful individuals and meet interesting local entrepreneurs and international dignitaries all sharing the same passion for global awareness and development. Here are a few personal takeaways from my time at UNAGB:
1. The rewarding experience of running a nonprofit
Who ever said running a business, a nonprofit for that matter, was a walk in the park? Working at UNAGB provided exposure to the ins and outs of the running a successful organization focused on creating a global and local impact. From writing out invites and thank you’s to the organizations gracious members to budgeting out events, running a nonprofit requires diligence. But it is immensely rewarding when you can see the immediate success from all the hard work you’ve put into. The work is without a doubt fulfilling and passion driven.
2. Model UN is awesome
Model UN is only for political science geeks, or so I thought. I was proven wrong. MUN is for everyone, from student in middle school all the way up to the collegiate level and beyond. It provides a great opportunity to meet and work with individuals that you would never meet elsewhere. In addition you get to dress up professionally and discuss critical issues affecting the world today. Who doesn’t love a good debate and dressing up a little? But don’t take my word for it, read about testimonies by other fellow interns and middle school students who have participated in the UNAGB’s Model UN conferences on “Model UN and Our Impact”.
3. Sharing is caring
You know the saying, “Sharing is caring”? Well it’s true, and it’s what makes working at UNAGB so great. For a small office environment with few hands and many tasks, everyone is eager to lend a hand, a foot, a voice. Interns and even the Director would assist the Programs team in preparing for UNAGB’s successful events like the UN Day Luncheon. In return, different departments would help the Education team with operating the numerous hectic, fun conferences and simulations.
There is something about international people that just makes me so excited and full of energy. When I attended MUN this past summer, I was excited to meet all the international faces that were present. One of my favorite experiences was meeting some students and their director who were planning to take a trip to my home country Malawi. I am a hugger and did not hesitate for a second to hug them upon hearing their interest in Malawi. The whole environment was just welcoming and made me feel at home upon seeing all the countries that were represented. Not only did I get to learn about different countries and personalities, but I also felt that feeling of comfort where you just feel like everyone in the room share the same passion as you. It is one of my favorite feelings.
Ever read about other people in the news that you go like “wow, I wish I could meet that person, or knew them personally?” UNA-GB is a place that makes the “wow” dreams come true! I have had some opportunities of meeting some great people in different careers such as doctors, professors and many others. The conversations I have had with them have been eye opening and just enriching. Just last week, I got a tremendous opportunity of meeting Ireland’s Ambassador to United Nations and consuls of many countries such as Chile and Greece. Do you think I could have just met those people in a coffee shop and strikes up a conversation about how they inspire me? Unless if they would carry name tags with them that says who they are, right?! Speaking with Ireland’s Ambassador who happened to have been to my home country in Malawi not only made me happy but I also felt at home.
UNA-GB is a great learning environment
I have learnt so much from UNA-GB about other African countries through research projects that I have done. One of my favorite tasks has been researching and following the Nigerian girls who were abducted from their school in Nigeria. Bring Back Our Girls has been one of the areas that has brought so much interest in all my learning experience.
~Christina and Tabia Programs Interns, Fall 2014