Name: GUO Yang, Lena
Master of Professional Accounting
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
Position: Finance intern of United Nations Development Programme
Duration: June 2018 - September 2018 (3 months)
Sponsorship: United Nations Peace Development Foundation
How time flies. During my 3-month impressive and unforgettable internship in the finance department, I felt so grateful for working with not only the experienced and enthusiastic colleagues in the finance team, but also the whole supportive family in United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
In regarding to the working environment and culture of UNDP of the large internationalized Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) that I work for, its culture diversity and comprehensiveness deeply impressed me from different aspects.
As one of the leading practitioners who continuously committed to the impactful sustainable development goals (SDGs), including the Goal No. 8-Decent work and economic growth, the Goal No. 10-Reduced inequalities and so on, UNDP not only follows the roadmap but also leads by example and dedicates to culture integration. Besides the staff, all of the interns here are treated seriously with respect. During my short stay, the interns are not only allowed to attend the brownbag lunch and training session with various of academic topics sharing by the internal and external experts, but also invited to the senior management sharing meeting which was provided exclusively to all the interns.
For the new colleagues, there would be organized well-prepared sessions for introduction of organizational structure and division of tasks among the functional and operational teams to facilitate better cooperation and communication. This would ensure better adaptation of all the colleagues and promote a more transparent and smooth transition among the teams, and thus the acceleration of organizational effectiveness and working satisfaction of the staff. Besides the friendly and harmonized working relationship with the colleagues, the seniors and intern network demonstrated a virtuous connecting and supportive relationship cycle after work.
In the finance team, the division of tasks is clear and highly structured that each officer or assistant has her own duty under the internal control, which I do appreciate. Besides the clearly instructed intern handbook, which reflects the collective wisdom and concerted efforts of the Finance team, the colleagues all extend their strong supports guiding me to improve my hands-on professional proficiency. These all together outline all aspects of the operational approach that are crucial for achieving the goals of routine tasks.
During the internship, I am fully committed to ensuring that the process of delivering tasks is implemented as smoothly as possible and the targets are met satisfactorily. The key strategic areas addressed from my duty include but not limit to: pay cycle running, voucher seeking and filing, reimbursement related settlement, cheque preparation and approval seeking, filing of journal entry documents across the years, funding preparation and cross-checking of allowances for the honored guests for on-spot international events, VAT refund application, ad hoc backend support and in-time communication with other teams and so on.
From the assigned tasks, I found it increasingly important to put the theoretical knowledge of the handbook into practice with full digestion by updated reflection.A tiny easily ignored problem of the seemingly even a minor routine task may intervene the smooth processing of the payments of projects. Because of the key and objective nature of the position, the rigorous process of payments must be followed properly for the convenience and expected implementation of various key projects. Therefore, while learning by doing, I would also keep developing habits of reflection by different tasks and summarize on the key and fallible steps to maximize the working efficiency and effectiveness, while making on-time communication with the seniors whenever there are updates.
I would like to take this great opportunity to sincerely thank all those who have stretched out a helping hand selflessly not only in my internship period but also dedicate to achieving the sustainable development goals for the organization and even the country. I am so impressed by the UNDP people of their endeavor to lead by doing, and I will take further initiative, jointly pursue and share the impactful SDGs to benefit more people as possible in the future.