International Programmes Assistant – Teach A Man To Fish

Universtiy of Exeter Internships, UoE Internships, SCP, SBP, GBP, A2I

What were your main duties and responsibilities during the course of your internship?

I was involved in a wide range of tasks related to programme management, however the main activities I was involved in were:

  • creating a new safety and security policy framework, suitable for projects in insecure environments;
  • undertaking safety and security research in relation to a number of new projects;
  • liaising between my organisation and a number of other stakeholders to sort out details of new projects;
  • helping to create or amend materials for schools to use as part of the projects;
  • helping to oversee the organisation’s registration as an NGO in Uganda and Nicaragua; and
  • helping out with other general tasks, such as project monitoring and evaluation.

What would you say was your biggest achievement over the course of your internship?

I ended up contacting and speaking with a very wide range of other organisations as part of my role (particularly as part of the safety and security research I undertook), from speaking to lawyers and to officials at the Ugandan Embassy, through to contacting NGOs and UN agencies working across Africa. I was given genuine responsibility over the course of the internship, which although daunting at first, was a great experience and helped to improve my confidence.

It was also a wonderful opportunity to gain professional experience in a foreign language, since a lot of the work I did was in French.

What benefits did your internship bring to your employer?

I helped the organisation by being diligent and hardworking, and thereby helping to reduce the workload for my colleagues at what was a busy and exciting time for the organisation due to a number of new projects being established.

The fact I was able to work in French was also of assistance.

Did you encounter any problems during the course of your internship and if so, how did you overcome them?

I was lucky that there were not any major problems during my internship.
However, we were often working to tight deadlines, and on occasion I faced small problems in meeting these for work I had been delegated. For instance, sometimes I had sent documents off to be officially translated, and there would then be a delay in getting these documents back, which would have an impact on our ability continue the work and meet the deadline.

However, as a result of regular meetings and communication, my line manager was kept updated about the projects I was working on, and as such the slight delays we sometimes faced never ended up creating a significant problem.