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Learning in Action: Navigating a Virtual Internship and Gaining New Skills

byLeigh Kesser
onJuly 20, 2020

I can’t believe I had my last weekly meeting with all the HAF interns and staff. It feels surreal, because time this summer has been both fast and slow at various points. Throughout my time with HAF, I have kept the words, “your internship will not be what you expect it to be,” at the forefront of my mind, trying to be open to the different challenges and benefits that come with a global, virtual internship. These words have been helpful but also frustrating at times, because I am more used to clear guidelines and deadlines.

Through my experience with HAF, I have learned how to be more flexible, and I have also learned to ask more about what I am supposed to do. Although I can still improve in the area of asking more for clear guidance in the future, I do think I have progressed some from where I initially was. Before my internship began, I thought I would rarely interact with my supervisor, let alone the president of HAF. However, I have been so happy to have consistent interaction with my peers and colleagues, which has demonstrated how HAF cares about people and cares about people who want to fight for sustainable change.

My whole experience with HAF and the people I have come in contact with has been an amazing learning experience for me. My Dad used to tell me, “You can learn from good examples, and you can also learn from bad examples.” From this, I try (though I sometimes fail) to look at every experience as an opportunity for me to learn more about myself and the world around me. For example, I co-hosted a Facebook Live with Morgan, and I enjoyed it a lot more than I thought I would. Moreover, I have really enjoyed collaborating with people who are truly passionate and dedicated to the work they are doing. I had previously been against group projects, because it was always hard to accomplish finishing them well with so many different personalities. However, working with HAF has made me realize that group projects can be really fun and an amazing opportunity to build upon and create new ideas that benefit others.

As my time with HAF starts to come to a close, I wonder what kind of work I will pursue in the future. I still hope to travel to Morocco, experience the women’s empowerment workshop one day and hopefully build upon my experience with HAF by working with other NGOs in the future.