Hello from Cape Town! For the last weeks of my internship, I have been working in the Cape Town office. In my last day, my colleagues organized a small farewell ceremony for me. Once again, I realized Joburg is not the best but my all internship experience and people in the office are awesome. During my internship, I have learned a lot not only the work but also about myself. I had a work experience as a teacher but I haven’t worked at the office. Even this limited experience made me learn more about myself. After this experience, I have experienced the importance of office culture.
I mentioned in my earlier blog post about working on the need analysis of the leadership on school improvement. We have conducted interviews with school teacher about their thoughts related to school management and their work satisfaction. After the interview with the teachers, all the interviews were analyzed. According to the findings on the need analysis, the workshop program redesigned. While I was helping the preparation of workshop materials, I learned about different types of leadership styles and the advantages and disadvantages of each lead. I learned how to write an invitation to the workshop and procedures for organizing the workshop. The school principals where we were invited to 3-days principal leadership workshop in Kwazulu-Natal which is another state. We stayed in a lodge in a small town called as Geluksburg.
I am really happy that I have been in different parts of the country with the projects I have worked in such a limited time. My mentor is the project manager in this project and I was assigned as a co-facilitator. In the beginning, I was really nervous to facilitate the big group but on the last day, I felt more comfortable. I think building a relationship with the participants and getting supportive feedback from my mentor helped me getting better at facilitation. During my study in the graduate school, I have enough experience in presentation skills but I have not done a lot on group facilitation. I think it is a very important skill and it is something all people work in this field should improve. It is not about knowing but practicing and it takes time. I am so glad I had a chance to experience it during my internship.
The town we have been for the workshop has a community-based ECD center. The person who runs this center was the owner of the lodge where we stayed. I was asked for some guidance and support for designing physical environment. After I learned there are children from the disadvantaged background and built for community development, I was accepted being a volunteer for the children. I know I cannot make a big change by myself in limited time but hoping it will make a difference. In the lodge, there were horses and I tried riding a horse which was in my bucket list 🙂 I cannot comfortably say I can ride a horse after such a short training but I have an idea and tried by myself.
Cape Town office is mainly working M&E of the projects. Currently, I am working on the evaluation of the ECD program on literacy and numeracy skills which I used to write papers on it during my undergraduate study. It is not really like an office which I used to work. In Joburg, there are around 40 staffs and you can see the office life but here there is only a staff and me. I think I enjoyed more working in a big office. This is also a valuable experience for me for my future career because I never thought it would be a factor which affects my work satisfaction.
All in all, my internship was an amazing and valuable experience for me. I have taken care of very well from my mentor and friendly colleagues. Living in Joburg without wifi and social life was tough but working in JET is worthwhile. I really satisfied with my all experience in work and I received really good feedback about my work. I worked hard during this 10 weeks and feel ready to explore the rest of South Africa before I start my last semester. I will make more memories, meet more people and learn more about South Africa.