Name: FANG Youxie
MA of Intercultural Studies
The Chinese University of Hong Kong
Position: Intern, Global Partnership Cluster, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
Duration: June 2019 – March 2020 (9 months)
Sponsorship: United Nations Peace Development Foundation
Supervisor: WANG Bing, Tina Stoum
It has been really a long time having internship in a organization. However, it was worth in UNDP. During the nine months, I got the chance to try different works and understood better of how UNDP and even UN systems works thanks to my supervisors, my colleagues, PDF colleagues (esp on sponsorship and extension of my internship) and CUHK. It was really an abundant experience. Besides the fundamental work written in TOR, I got the opportunity to take the initiative to try different work and found out what I really like to do in my future career. Therefore, this experience is far more than having a glimpse on how UN systems work, but more on maturing of myself.
I still remembered the first day of my internship. It really shocked me when I attended a small meeting discussing on I-have-no-idea-what-it-is online platform. Everything of UNDP was new but scary at some point for me to get adapted into. After talking to my supervisor, reading some documents and chatting with new colleagues, I started to understand the role and responsibility of my position and how I could perform better on this position. Everything was going on right track since then. With efficient and harmonious teamwork, I have successfully established a OneDrive platform within Global Partnership Cluster (GPC) and an internal knowledge sharing platform for other UNDP COs.
At the same time, a colleague sitting next to me once asked me whether I was interested in gender and I could help him if I did with permission of my supervisor. After attending a brownbag session of gender marker and reading relevant materials, I decided to contribute to the gender and minorities Task Force. Fortunately, my supervisor was very welcome on this decision. Then, I started to find my interest in such a voluntarily set-up group while fulfilling my obligatory work. During this experience, I practiced my oral speech, did research, drafted reports on gender mainstreaming session, gender and climate changes session and how to build leadership within UNDP. I started to practice the capacity to work independently and it turned out that though I still had room to improve, I was more confident and better performed to express my thoughts and get the work done even only on my own.
In the mid-term conversation with my supervisor, she encouraged me to follow my heart to do what I want to achieve. I told her that I wanted to learn project management, a fresh, complicated but exciting field for me, and she approved immediately. With her support, I got the chance to deeply involve into the core business of UNDP. It did not take long that I realized that integration of my abilities was a must to deal with the difficulties that I faced. Not only how I contributed effected how far the project could be promoted, but a minor mistake of mine could be transaction costs for the project. I had to focus on both the figure and details of relevant documents, express my opinions in the most understandable way to team members, keep learning the meanings behind written documents and draft in official language (both English and Chinese). I also extended my internship to learn more on the project and it turned out that not only did I deeply understand how project management was, I also contributed on speeding up promotion of the project.
I also practiced my communication and coordination skills during the support for team retreat, and big event like South-South Day and UN Day.
I feel really lucky that I got the chance to have a such an extraordinary experience in UNDP. I really like the working atmosphere and I am proud to become a supporter for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). After the internship, I can really say that I will continue supporting SDGs in my whole life and try hard to realize the goals in my future career.