As a student with prior working experience in international environmental organizations, this internship has left a strong impression on me and provided me with a more holistic understanding of how inter-governmental organizations operate. In addition, the internship experience gave me oversight with regard to the planning and programming processes of the organization.
Prior to starting the internship proper, I discussed my professional interests with a representative from the APO to decide the best working fit for me. I was assigned to the Research & Planning Department and was responsible for tasks including (1) scanning daily emerging trends across 5 STEEP (Social Technology Economic Environment Political) dimensions and submitting executive summaries of weekly emerging trends and analyses as part of QETR Foresight Report preparation. (2) APO Data book and Departmental Planning (3) participating in baseline socioeconomic surveys as part of national development plans (4) performing needs analysis of member countries – leading up to the new 2021-2022 Program Planning. During my two months, I had a wonderful time with my colleagues in APO.
I really appreciated the fact that all the employees I met were extremely friendly and helpful. I cherished the challenging opportunities work presented, and tried hard to familiarize myself with the topics related to emerging trends regarding productivity issues. Learning how to write the quarterly emerging trends reports not only helped me gain a deeper understanding of the situational needs for individual APO member countries, it also taught me the importance of strategic foresight. Notably, I was able to provide my team with a series of analyses that would later be part of the chapter in the foresight report that APO will be publishing soon.
This internship program provided by APO was a truly valuable experience for me. In the past, I could only learn about and participate in international development assistance as a concerned citizen. The program offered me a different perspective, addressing tricky issues such as international development aid from the viewpoint of an inter-governmental organization. It also helped me discover my professional interests, and allowed me to better plan for my future career. I will cherish the friendships I formed with my colleagues whom aided my learning experience and professional development throughout the duration of the internship. I am truly grateful to the Graduate School of Public Policy and APO for this unique opportunity.