In 2015, oikos had the pleasure to work with two interns, over 3 months. Florian comes from Germany and studies at Zeppelin University and Katierina comes from Belarus and studies at Warsaw School of Economics. At oikos we are grateful for their contribution and commitment. We look forward to welcoming more amazing interns in the next years. Here their thoughts on the experience:
The reason I choose to follow an internship at oikos is because I wanted to benefit from the experience of working within a reputable NGO. I wanted a new challenge and to learn, improve and develop new sets of skills and dispose my knowledge, which I gained during my studies.
Working within a Project Management Team, and especially planning an event and prepare a realistic and correct budget for fundraising was a very impressive experience. Right from the beginning I was fully included in the team and had responsible tasks.
The past weeks of my internship have been very instructive for me. oikos has offered me opportunities to learn and develop myself in many areas e.g doing research, promotion of the PhD-Fellowship worldwide and supporting the logistic team for the annual conference – the FutureLab. I gained a lot of experience, especially in the event planning field. A lot of the tasks and activities that I have worked on during my internship are familiar with what I’m studying at the moment. I worked in many areas where I did different work, e.g in fundraising. This gave me the chance to find out which areas I want to work in after my education.
oikos is a great learning organization for interns. oikos is a student driven international NGO and helps interns improve and develop their skills through interesting tasks and competent and highly cooperative colleagues. I would recommend oikos to keep hiring interns with a different study disciplinary background, to help build and improve oikos with the knowledge they gained from their studies.
My internship in oikos began from 13th of October, 2015. Although the whole the exclusive opportunity to a picturesque country preparation began much earlier. Being a student of Warsaw School of Economics and having a possibility to choose majors I got a chance to apply for a project ‘Eco-Innovations in cities’. The project, which were closely connected to environmental, ecological and economic aspects, consisted of six subjects. As a student, I also got a chance to do an internship either in Poland or abroad.
Choosing a country for the internship was a challenge for you. Taking into consideration, that all the countries make efforts to be sustainable and environment-friendly, the variety of the projects was vast. Although I must admit, that Switzerland was one of the main countries, which showed its sustainability on each step.
I received an answer in the middle of October, but I was not able to believe that it is real and soon I will be in the heart of eco-innovations and sustainability. As you have already understood, I believe in fairy-tales. In my childhood I dreamed about studying in Switzerland and graduating as a hotel manager, who will soon become a hotel owner. Later that aim was forgotten and I went to study in Poland. However sitting in the plane and reminding yourself that story, made me strongly believe that only a human being is a limit.
There are few things which should be mentioned. Firstly, Swiss people are awesome and nice. Unfortunately my German was very poor, so I spoke English. If someone wasn’t even able to speak English, they were still trying to help me using gestures and hands. In general, most of the people speak good English, thus they make you feel comfortable in their country. Secondly, please forget about shops in late hours. You will either die without food or you will need to ask people for it. So if you want to cook, make sure that you have bought all the ingredients before 7 or even 5. It took me two weeks to get used to that rule, especially on Sunday when everything was closed. Thirdly, you have to take into consideration the landscape of Switzerland. It is so diversified, you could go to the mountains and later enjoy the sound of a mountain river.
However I would like to talk about my internship in oikos International. My first day started when I met a president of oikos International Anita Negri while trying to find oikos International office. I must admit, that it was no so easy to find it. From the first minute of our aqcuantance, I understood that this is a person who will make influence on my life and teach a lot of things. It was rainy and very humid, but the whole swiss atmosphere made me forget about the weather. From the first day, I wanted to take as much new knowledge as I can, so I started to ask a lot of questions and expect the answers to all of them. That day I also got to know Adriana Troxler, who was a great supporter and helper not only in the professional area, but also in a personal life. Working with them was a pleasure for me, because I didn’t even feel that I have to go working. I was waiting for every working day and I enjoyed the whole month. I do believe that they are the best team ever, they complement each other, and in the same time they are so different. Nevertheless you should get to know each of them. These are the people who are great life mentors.
There were 2 important things which happened in October-November. The Presidents’ Meeting and FutureLab 2015 took a place in Switzerland where I had a chance to attend and help to prepare them. It is essential to say, that people from oikos are special. They are ambitios, they know and realize their aims. This is what I missed sometimes In Warsaw. The belief. In Switzerland I got this desire to live again. Day by day I worked on myself, I improved such skills as team work, team support, clear vision of what you want to do in the future as well as communication skills. The FutureLab helped me to understand that it is up to everyone to make education matter and to be involved in this process. The big advantage of those conferences is people’s diversity. People come from different parts of the world, they share their experience with each other and after each congerence they return to their chapters to implement new ideas and methods. They are eager to guide you anf support you, they are open to every new possibility. Is not it wonderful?
To sum up everything, I want to say that this month was on the most productive months in my life. It helped me to underatand what I want to do and how I want to achieve it. Thank you to all the people I met especially to Anita and Adriana.
Interested in an internship at oikos in Switzerland? See here how to apply.