Learning comes in multiple forms and can be done in different ways. This past summer, I had a unique opportunity to learn outside of my usual educational environment by working at an NGO as a student intern. The challenge stems from trying to sum up more than a month’s work of experience in just a few paragraphs.
I started the internship with an open mind and the willingness to learn. The internship was gratifying, challenging, intellectually stimulating and a total learning experience. It helped me develop better work habits as I learned to manage tasks and although the environment was rather relaxed, I learned how to carry myself in professional environment. It gave me the opportunity to interact with colleagues. Every colleague was friendly which made it even easier for me to adjust and become comfortable in a short span of time. The experience also enhanced my writing skills as I was becoming familiar with topics I wouldn’t normally write a research paper on.
I had a variety of tasks throughout the time period. I wrote two articles that were posted on the NGO’s blog and reading them online always gives me a huge sense of achievement and accomplishment. I helped in the office by sorting their library of over a thousand books, organizing their files and writing book reports. I aided with the weekly activities that were conducted, and I also suggested several ideas for their magazine. The organization had conducted a testing session in the schools in rural areas; I assisted the coworkers in checking the numerous test papers.
This position not only served as a professional learning experience but was a personal learning experience as well. I got to communicate with not only the coworkers but underprivileged children and passionate teachers too. One of the greatest parts about the internship was getting to meet Master Ayub, a selfless teacher who has singlehandedly been teaching underprivileged children in a park in Islamabad for the last 27 years, whom I respect greatly. I got to learn about the acclaimed authors, poets and environmentalists in Pakistan. This experience at ITA has convinced me to become more active in the field of helping the less fortunate, and I am even more motivated to pursue this aspiration of mine. I am beholden to everyone who has given me a hand throughout this experience. I’m very thankful for the opportunity. Although I had to get up early during my summer holidays, the experience was worth it without a doubt!
Natalia Aslam Khan