Monday 19 February 2018
As summer season approaches, many who seek to add new laurels to their resume or give back to society may consider making the foray into joining an NGO. The NGO sector is a great place to work, even though it is known to be sometimes challenging and demanding. It is therefore ideal to choose the right NGO to work for, as this is an investment that can set the tone for your professional and personal development. Here is how you can choose the right internship for you and start the journey of a lifetime.
Identify your path
An NGO, in many ways, resembles the functioning of any other organisation or company. There are roles which are common to all organisation, albeit with a few differences. When planning to join an NGO, also know where exactly you seek to fit into, so you can work on your skills.
i. Administrative roles
Administrative roles for an NGO office can include proofreading, graphic design, updating social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, and coordination across fundraising, marketing, finance and programmes. Large NGOs often recruit for every unique function.
ii. Technical roles
While the Arts and Humanities degree holders often see the NGO as a natural transition, it is today also important for the sector to hire interns with highly technical skills. Instead of politics, political science, or history, majors like economics or engineering would be a refreshing addition to the team.
iii. Bringing prior work experience
Having prior work experience is a great asset for NGO internship, especially when considering well-known brands in the sector. It allows you to ‘hit the ground running’, and also develop new skill at a faster pace.
Know exactly why you’re planning to join an NGO
You should have a bit of clarity about why you plan to join an NGO, as the nature of the work will need you to be committed and confident, even in uncertain times. Popular reasons for joining an NGO include padding your resume, or to genuinely meet a need to give back to society. It is ideal to identify this, because your motivation will keep you going when working with communities who have seen tough times and are now looking for kindness. Joining an NGO is a long-term investment, not only in your future with the skills you acquire, but into the future of children, adults, and communities. For many, the bonding with communities, and seeing the impact of their work is an important plus point.
Advantages of interning with an NGO
There are so many ways joining an NGO can transform your life for the better. You will develop credibility about your career and work ethic, while also building your network with influential people and bigger companies. You will meet many highly inspired, like-minded people who share your vision of the future. As a young professional, an NGO is the perfect launchpad and training ground for the first professional engagement of your life. The sector is always looking for people who bring the skills, insights, and commitment to the field.
A summer internship is a great way of giving back to society, and there are people who urgently need your spirit of volunteering in an organised way. Those who donate to NGO fundraising are also participating in this movement of change and hope. NGO Save the Children, for example, is helping children across India access food, shelter, education, and care. It has tens of thousands of volunteers and supporters, who will help channelise your funding towards large-scale programmes across India.