Thankfully, le ville chaleur has cooled down really quickly, and the temperature was very soon reinstated.
As with any other experiences, last weeks of the internship were times of pressure and rush. But in very positive manner! I felt pressured to explore the city as much as possible to make sure I’m not missing out on cool experiences that Paris can provide. And therefore, I felt rushed. The adrenaline rush I got from this pressure has drove me through the last few weeks quite successfully, despite the accumulated fatigue.
I have left Paris slightly more than a week ago and sometimes, it’s still hard to believe that my internship journey has come to an end already. 10 weeks truly flew by, and the last few weeks did so even more!
Internship Update (for one last time)
Last three weeks of internship was a bit of torrent in that I had to finalize two projects that I have spearheaded while still providing support for the team by assisting a conference as a technician and reviewing all sorts of reports, programmes, TORs, etc.
Based on the programme framework I have drafted, I created presentation slides and handouts for Media and Information Literacy (MIL) for Prevention of Violent Extremism (PVE) workshop. Creating slides and handouts was a two-way task in many sense as I did not only refer to the programme to make the slides but also revised the programme as things pop up in the process of making the slides. Just like any other deliverables, my supervisor was there to provide feedback and suggestions at each step so the slides came together after numerous sessions of discussions and revisions. I’m very happy with the final output!
Personally, the cream of the crop of my internship experience was the impact evaluation I have initiated for an ICT education initiative for girls in a West African country. In the last post, I mentioned how I JUST received an approval from above to distribute the online survey. It for sure was a tight timeline in that only two weeks were given to collect the responses for only. After the two weeks of data collection, I only had one week to write the evaluation report! Fortunately, I have tried my best to analyze and organize the data right away as I received the responses, rather than to wait till the end. Regardless, bulk of the work had to be done once the survey was officially completed. Last week of internship called for some late nights in the office but fortunately, I was able to finish the report on time before I left. My supervisor, being a super helpful mentor per usual, provided insightful feedback even within a short span of time and I was able to revise the report accordingly.
Both the MIL for PVE workshop guideline and the evaluation report are in queue for designing and formatting into a PDF file so they become more permanent resources for our team.
Other than the two major projects, I continued to assist with other initiatives by drafting some more concept notes (future IEDPers, Dr. GK’s prosem will save you too many times throughout your internship!), reviewing and revising internal reports and presentation slides for future conferences.
One big event that took place during my second to last week of internship was a conference on Artificial Intelligence that our organization co-hosted with a local university. My colleagues and I started our days early as we had to prepare the reception desk before the participants arrived. Once the conference began, I oversaw the technical side of the lectures and panel talks by projecting the slides, maneuvering clickers, etc.
Despite the hecticness, my colleagues and I managed to explore some cool eateries near our office and went for happy hours after work!
Another work perk that I have not mentioned as much in the posts is networking opportunity! I was able to meet a lot of people who are pursuing career in international development. Listening to their stories and advice helped me navigate different options and identify where I can find the type of opportunities I would like to be a part of.
This organization does not disappoint me till the very last moments of my internship. At the international conference on girls’ and women’s empowerment, hosted by our organization and G7, Nobel Peace Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai and the French President Emmanuel Macron appeared to make their speech! It was unreal to see such celebrities right in front of me in person. Some of the most exciting moments for sure!
Because I left right after my last day of internship, I had only two weekends left since the latest blog post. One of them, I spent to explore the last bits of the city by visiting the art exhibit at Petit Palais, le quartier latin and Musée de l’Orangerie. Musée de l’Orangerie has become my favorite museum of the city! Water lilies once again but at a whole new scale this time, and it was great to see some of the paintings of Renoir that I loved since young age and discover new artist that I’ve become to like. Too bad the souvenir shop did not have postcards of Maurice Utrillo’s paintings!
Last weekend in Paris, my family came to visit me. It was great to catch up with them while doing the most touristy things one can do in Paris! Also, having your family over is one of the greatest excuses to splurge on food. I feel like only by the last weekend in Paris I really got to explore the culinary world of Paris.
And at last came to an end of my internship journey in Paris. Through internship, I had an opportunity to apply the skills I have learned in classroom and observe how things are done in real workplaces. The most valuable part of the internship was the people I met. Colleagues and office mates were there to lighten up the air, sharing stories and providing support for each other. My supervisor – I could possibly not ask for a more perfect supervisor! All thanks to my supervisor, I was able to spearhead projects on my own and really take in charge of some of the tasks. And all the other people I have reached out for a coffee or a lunch were all very welcoming and kind.
High living price and its old-fashionedness posed difficulties at times but overall, Paris had a lot to offer as well.
Looking back, I feel like I was able to get a lot out of this opportunity. Based on all the things I was able to acquire in Paris, I gotta get headstarted with transitioning back into the life in Philly and beyond! But before that, I will first bask myself in the beautiful greenery of the Black Forest in southern Germany… I shall think about the next steps after this beautiful sunset!