Hi, I am Hester and joined the FMS at the beginning of this year as an Africa Day intern. After receiving my bachelor's degree in International Studies completed, I left for Scotland and graduated with a master's degree in Africa and International Development. During both studies, I developed my interest not only in political and social developments around Africa but also in networking and organising events in my various roles as a student representative. Because this internship is to Africa Day turned, it seemed to me the unique opportunity to use my passions and knowledge in an environment with a focus on Africa and international cooperation, among other things. Would you also like to do an internship at the FMS? Then check all vacancies here!
How does a typical day at the FMS look like for you?
Before we were forced to pass through Corona Africa Day 2020 had to cancel, I worked on performing various organisational tasks around the event. Think of recruiting partners, filling in the programme, helping design posters and flyers and many fun consultations with all kinds of stakeholders. During this time, you are also in contact every day with all workshop organisers and speakers who come from both the Netherlands and abroad. Personally, I found it most special to work with the many active and diverse African diaspora organisations in the Netherlands. In almost all the work FMS does, diaspora organisations are involved and so also during my internship I got to attend relevant seminars in Brussels and meet several people from the African diaspora interview. This way, you will not only do practical work but you will also definitely be involved in content!
After the work around Africa Day was completed, the content of my internship was a bit more flexible. With the team, we came up with the idea of doing the FMS liveblog 'Corona in Africa' start up, where my colleagues and I monitored current developments on the corona crisis in Africa by writing articles. There is certainly no lack of creative ideas within our team; we are currently embarking on a project that highlights FMS's diaspora partners through portrait interviews. I am also working on the research project 'Climate Justice: African Perspectives'. In this, I have delved into Dutch and European climate policies and focus especially on a theme that is incredibly relevant to socio-economic developments in Africa: agriculture.
What did you learn that you will take away for your future job?
After studying for many years, my internship allowed me to practically apply the knowledge I gained. I learned what is involved in working around initiatives with a focus on development cooperation and international solidarity. This makes me feel better prepared (for my future job) for the (logistical) challenges this sector often faces and I will be able to develop and maintain partner relations with more self-confidence.
What did you like most/what did you remember most?
I enjoyed going to work every day. It was very interesting to work not only for FMS but also in the office of the party office of the PvdA. This gave me a behind-the-scenes look at politics in the Netherlands. But the pleasure of working still came most from my lovely and fun colleagues and the working environment we created together. Everyone's opinion counts and there is plenty of room to come up with your own ideas and perspective. Internship supervisors try to empower you as much as possible by taking your interests and skills into account. In addition, we always have a nice lunch together and there is often time to play a game of Mario Kart at the end of the afternoon. Would you like this too? Then respond no later than 7 June to one of the 3 vacancies.