A Launchpad for a Thriving Career – A Former Intern’s Reflection on Ashinaga Internships
The increased adoption of remote work has opened a world of opportunities for people to work across regions with teams from all over the world. Ashinaga is among the organizations that have adopted remote work, with their first intake of remote interns being in the Fall of 2021. Ashinaga has since had more remote intern intakes, with Pia being in one of them. Pia completed her internship with the Graduates and Alumni team (GAT) remotely from the Philippines. We reached out to her to find out how her time with Ashinaga influenced the trajectory of her career.
When asked about her reasons for interning with Ashinaga, Pia states that she saw an internship with Ashinaga as the perfect opportunity to apply her learnings as a Behavioural Sciences student, to hone her existing skill set and add to it while working on a cause she believed in. Pia also shares that her experience as an intern influenced the type of work she does now. After her time with Ashinaga, she became more set on pursuing a career in the developmental sector. According to Pia, Ashinaga made her see the fun and meaning of working in a non-profit organization. Her internship with Ashinaga also inspired her to help children in her home country hence her current work as a program coordinator for a foundation that champions early stimulation and early literacy in the Philippines. More than this, her time with Ashinaga taught her that she belongs and that she can do anything she sets her mind to.
The internships provide a platform for skills development and self-discovery.
Through internships, Ashinaga aims to ensure the professional development of interns as well as equip them with transferable skills. This was the case with Pia who found that her time with Ashinaga helped improve her creativity and resourcefulness, analytical and research, event planning and organizing, and communication skills. Not only did her time at Ashinaga equip her with various skills, but Pia also had the chance to learn more about herself through the internship. She learned that she thrives in an environment that allows her to be who she is and work on who she can be. The foundation, specifically her time with GAT, provided various opportunities to improve skills she already possessed such as creativity, research, event planning and organizing, and work on those she needed to develop such as communicating, coordinating, and hosting.
When asked if she felt the exposure to a diverse work environment granted by her internship with Ashinaga made it easier to adapt to her current work environment, Pia gives an enthusiastic “yes!”. Her current job involves community work, as a result, she is exposed to stakeholders and partners of diverse backgrounds daily. Ashinaga equipped her with the attitude and skills to coordinate and communicate with them confidently and professionally. Interning with Ashinaga allowed Pia to improve her coordination and communication with colleagues of international backgrounds and help organize online events.
Exposure through Ashinaga internships is invaluable preparation for the workforce.
The skills and experience gained while interning with Ashinaga are widely applicable to different fields. Furthermore, the internship gives students exposure to the working environment they can leverage when applying for formal employment. Pia speaks of her internship experience with Ashinaga as one of her biggest assets as a fresh graduate. Aside from her exposure to the developmental sector and the international outlook, experience, and network she has gained, Pia believes the internship gave her the edge in the workforce. Her character reference from her former GAT supervisor also helped her land her current position as a program coordinator. Pia further elaborates on her current work stating that she is currently in a hybrid work environment (half remote, half in-person). Her remote internship with Ashinaga helped prepare her for full-time work in an online setup. Given that she had a set time to accomplish her tasks during the internship, it trained her to navigate the setup smarter and more productively. Her time as an intern encouraged her to learn more about digital applications (e.g., Zoom, G Suite, etc) and use them more efficiently.
Advice to anyone who wishes to apply.
Pia’s advice to anyone considering applying for the internship is “If you are passionate about education, excited to meet the best mentors and make new friends, and keen on enhancing your skills, then this internship is for you! Give yourself a chance and go for it! Once you get accepted into the program, take each day as an opportunity to learn. Do not forget to have fun :).”
After completing the program, interns join a network of Ashinaga Intern Alumni from around the world. This active community is a great way to stay in touch, exchange professional advice and keep updated on Ashinaga. Just like Pia, you too could be part of the network of Ashinaga Intern Alumni after your internship with Ashinaga. If you are interested in contributing to Ashinaga’s mission to provide education and support to orphaned students worldwide, check out Ashinaga’s internship cycles and apply for the position that best suits you!
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