Greetings from Bangkok! It’s hard to believe that 9 weeks have already passed since my internship started. At the same time, I do feel that I’ve got used to life in Bangkok and I have a better understanding of where to eat good food and how to enjoy my spare time.
I have 3 more weeks to go but my actual work days are much less as I will be traveling to Vietnam and Singapore in the upcoming weeks. In the organization I’m working for, interns are entitled to take 2.5 days of leave per month. I was very excited when I learnt about this! To make the most out of being located in Southeast Asia, I decided to explore these two countries which have always on my bucket list.
I’ve been working with Teacher Education team which is responsible for planning and organizing events to enhance teacher education for quality education in the Asia-Pacific region. It’s a one-man team plus an intern (me)! It’s surprising to see that a wide range of tasks such as writing a concept note, budgeting, and coordinating regional meetings and events are handled by only one consultant (of course, with the help of other teams). I’ve been working mainly on desk research for the ongoing initiative and the upcoming event and tasks that were assigned from other teams. I’ve found it’s not always easy to get tasks assigned to me that require tangible deliverable due to time constraints and limited human resources available for preparing instructions and directions to allocate tasks to interns. Thus, I also looked for learning opportunities outside of my team. Fortunately, some of my colleagues assigned me tasks belonging to other teams such as screening proposals for STEM for girls and women project and writing a concept note for conducting data collection regarding Global Citizenship Education. I really enjoy working with people from different teams and learn a lot from it.
Meeting with new people has been one of the accomplishments during my stay in Bangkok. Both inside and outside the office, I have been very lucky enough to expand my network. It was such a fascinating experience for me to connect with teachers, students, school leaders, and policy makers coming from various countries (including countries such as Bhutan and Palau that I was not very familiar with) in the Asia-Pacific region at the School Leadership event that I attended as a supporting staff. I say “both inside and outside the office” because I have also met people from different backgrounds especially since I started to join futsal practices in the weekends organized by the local Japanese teams. It is very interesting for me to hear about work and life experiences from people who are in different fields. As I am at the stage of considering my future career, connecting with new people has been fun and helpful for me to explore different career opportunities. I really appreciate those who have given me very insightful career and life advice!
Although I only have a few weeks left, I will try my best to make the most of my internship experience here in Bangkok!