Name: WANG Zixuan, Nina
BBA (Hons) in Accounting and Finance
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
Position: Operations Intern, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)
Duration: August 2018 – January 2019 (5 months)
Sponsorship: United Nations Peace Development Foundation
Supervisor: Li Jing
Reviewing the last five-month internship experience, I still remember how excited I was when I received the offer from UNFPA China Office, and how curious I was about every activity. And now, I would like to record some impressive perspectives during such internship.
In order to help the organization run smoothly, and to cooperate with Program Analysts, whose works are predominately project-oriented, the Operations team has to streamline the preparation process and contribute to every single detail. Preparing requisition checklist, writing note verbal, applying for VAT refund, establishing budget analysis report and updating various kinds of information are my primary jobs. And being sensitive to numbers and paying attention to detail are of significance. During the internship, I encountered the peak time, which is at the end of an accounting year and the start of another one; therefore, I learned more about how UN system worked through preparing related comprehensive ending closure documents. Furthermore, developing my computer skills, especially specific Excel functions, is beyond my expectation and I believe it is instrumental in my future work.
Inclusive working environment
In respect to my colleagues and peer interns, everyone looks shinning when they share innovative opinions, exchange precious experience and even defense their own ideas. It is their various backgrounds, different characteristics and profound knowledge that makes an inclusive and diversified working environment. Without any exaggeration, I learned how to show respect to others properly, negotiate and communicate with different classes of people, and consider multifaceted nature of things from them. Needless to say, they are humorous, modest, vibrant and friendly and that’s why I built friendship with colleagues, including peer interns, quickly. We prepared the farewell for every leaving intern, and celebrated the New Year with a gathering party. The memories of hanging out together are still vivid and I will cherish them.
It was a rewarding experience to work in this office where I got a better understanding of the issues I had not had opportunity to know but had always wanted to. Such interesting and meaningful conferences and discussions made me think about the significant issues I had never paid attention to. I felt so fortunate to have an opportunity to participate in some meaningful events organized by the cooperation of UN agency, government and social media. The Launch of Chinese and English Edition of 2018 State of World Population (SWOP) Report gave me an overview of the impact of reproductive rights on family plans and demographic transition. Furthermore, a series of International Workshop on Gender-biased Sex Selection (GBSS) let me obtain a better understanding on related issues in not only China but also Vietnam.
Besides such strict and academic conferences, there are also attractive and entertaining activities. It is impressive to join the ‘UN Day’, a commemoration of 70th anniversary, which was held in Phoenix International Media Center. The Jazz performance by Ghana Goodwill Ambassador for UNAIDS attracted people to learn African folk dance together. There are 51 questions regarding to each sustainable development goal hung on the wall, encouraging everyone to answer and win the gifts. Besides, it is fancy, for the first time, to walk red carpet to enter into the building.
For the communications workshop, we were encouraged to express expectations and ideas regarding how to promote our organization and goals. During which, we discussed some hot apps, such as Douyin, Weibo and Official Accounts of Wehat., which expanded my imaginations and expectations about the spread of UNFPA. Another one is to prepare a short video clip for Sina Weibo, to support the social good affairs for the annual Weibo Night.
It is hard to list all the events I attended, but the motivations and inspiration I gained are far beyond my expectations.
Before I entered into the UNFPA, I had no idea how the UN system works and what exact kind of work they are doing. And after the last five months, I am glad that I have some ideas about doubts mentioned above and I think UNFPA is a good choice to follow issues that are more related to us. UNFPA focused on youth, gender, sexual and reproductive health, and population dynamics, and for me, these four topics are attractive and interesting. I got much time to think about these topics. And I became open to share related information, such as contraceptive methods, with my friends and family member. I exactly know there are some changes and I love my changes.
Last but not least, I would like to express appreciation to The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, my home university, and Peace and Development Foundation (PDF), which provides this valuable opportunity and sponsors my internship respectively. Specially, I would like to thank Ms. Li Jing and Ms. Luo Weijia, my supervisors, who offer opportunities for my learn and growth. They not only give me tips when I just arrived Beijing, but also exchanged their experiences of Master’s and MBA programs, which helped me for my future study path.