The End

I learned, foremost, a great deal about the realities of NGO work.  I offer the caveat that I was just an intern and worked in the headquarters office.  But, far from a romantic opportunity to do good work on conflict resolution despite the no pay, it was reminiscent of a quintessential cubical setting.  I faced a computer monitor for most of my time there, disconnected with any end product.  Part of this the hardship of intern work.  Part of it is the nature of centralized, headquarters work.  Nevertheless, the experience has reset my conception of what this particular kind of non-field NGO work will be like.  It is good to have the proper expectation.

Additionally, this particular NGO environment seemed to reward good ideas, but also rewarded confidence of presentation.  Due partly to my position and my personality, I would present ideas sheepishly.  The manner in which I presented my ideas negatively impacted their reception despite the solid content of my statements.  I suppose this is true outside the NGO realm as well.  Confidence and content are essential to communication.

Despite some criticisms, the internship was a positive experience.  I am better equipped now than in January to decide about pursuing the NGO field.  I gained some insights about the importance of DME and about the organizational structure of such a decentralized NGO.  I also gained some more specific skills in mixed methods research (in which I had no previous training) and in DME.  I would probably recommend this internship to other students, but with the instructions to be assertive and to be critical of the tasks and projects assigned.

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