There is only one month left before my internship ends but it feels like I just started – time flies when you enjoy what you are doing!
Time also flies when you are super busy and Paris in the fall is a very busy city. August was bliss, streets were empty and it was easy to find a table in a restaurant. With the start of the school year, Paris is no longer quiet and neither is the UNESCO building.
I am glad I decided to pursue an extended internship (6 months, instead of the minimum required 3 months). I came to UNESCO in June and started supporting my colleagues with their research projects and preparing for our section’s flagship events: World Teachers’ Day and the Policy Dialogue Forum (PDF) of the International Teachers Task Force for Education 2030. For now, I will speak about World Teachers’ Day which we celebrated last week. The PDF will take place the first week of November so I will write about the PDF in my next post.
While there was always something to do, it wasn’t until late August that I really had my own project. I took over the planning and management of the UNESCO-Hamdan bin Rashid Al-Maktoum Prize for Outstanding Practice and Performance in Enhancing the Effectiveness of Teachers. Organizing this prize involved managing its publicity, coordinating with the Prize’s co-sponsors, working with the prize winners on their presentations for the day, engaging with the delegations, and most importantly learning about UNESCO’s internal system of approval of audio visual materials, as well as internal protocol.
Learning about UNESCO’s bureaucracy might not sound as interesting as some of my classmates’ work collecting data (see my classmate Radhika’s blog about her internship adventures in Africa) or conducting field visits to ECD centers (see my classmate Lauren’s blog to read more about her adventures in India). Now that I have given you options to read blogs on potentially more interesting internship experiences I can continue to tell you about UNESCO’s bureaucracy guilt-free.
In the span of a little over a month, I had to get a brochure and a short video approved by the Knowledge Management System (KMS) section, I had to liaise with Cabinet and Protocol because Audrey Azoulay, the Director-General of UNESCO and H.E. Sheikh Rashid bin Hamdan Al-Maktoum from the UAE, attended World Teachers’ Day, and I had to respond to the Laureates’ needs. It may sound like my work had little to do with International Education but in fact, my relentless work with KMS’ tedious approval process, my ability to communicate with Hamdan Foundation, and my work with Cabinet and Protocol were all successful in ensuring a smooth event, and I got very positive feedback from UNESCO’s management and Hamdan Foundation. All of this translates to stability for several current research initiatives and educational programs that depend on the cordial relationships between UNESCO and its partners.
Now that World Teachers’ Day celebrations are over, I am heavily involved in the meeting of yet another international event concerning the teaching profession and the importance of raising the profile of teachers in the global agenda for education. I will tell you more about this in my next post!