15 December 2010

Interning

I got my little intern card (it's got a tiger on it!) and letter today, so now that it's official, why not write a little post on what I'm up to at WWF-India :)

I was here for a week this time last year, like a mini-internship orientation thing so I kind of knew the basics of the place already but this time I'm here for all of December and January so it'll be intense. My whole idea was that I was going to come here and work on and learn about really exciting conservation projects and tigers and wildlife and all that fun stuff. WWF has been my dream for god knows how long so I've had this glorious image of it in my head and this idea that I'd get a behind-the-scenes look at their conservation projects and make a difference, etc. Not so much. I was a little disappointed about WWF not being as glamourous as I imagined. I was put in the two divisions of the organisation which I would have otherwise probably put on the top of my list of areas to avoid - Conservation Alliances and Business & Industry. As with any internship though, after a couple of weeks I opened my mind a little and realised it's actually quite interesting. It was the same with MSA - got there and thought what the hell am I doing with a bunch of consultants that do work on granting mining rights and basic assessment reports. Sure enough it turned out to be one of the most valuable experiences of my life, I've never learnt so much. Everything I learnt there has been so relevant and applicable to things that I've done since - stuff about environmental legislation and whatnot, great internship.

Back to WWF though - last year I did a little work for Conservation Alliances but I mostly just got a bit of a briefing of all the different divisions so it was a great foundation to start on. Of course it got my hopes up for this time around because I thought I might be able to go to a fun division with field work.. Anyway, when I started I was with Conservation Alliances again for a bit and then I got put in Business & Industry. The first couple of days was again very much a "why am I here" sort of experience. That said, there's only two other people I work with, Megha and Bhavna Prasad and I like them both a lot so that makes it better :) I wish I could have Bhavna as a boss forever, she's brilliant, a great teacher and so sweet. Most of the work I've been doing has been your typical intern-y work - research, proof reads, powerpoints, etc. But when it comes to the actual meetings it's really interesting. Most of the work they do at B&I is to do with the CDP (Carbon Disclosure Project) and Climate Savers programme - which is yet to be properly launched at WWF-India. So it's great to get a perspective on how they actually try to sell the concept of clean business to all these companies. I guess it's great because I'm learning about things like corporate sustainability and all, which are actually so interesting but I probably wouldn't have ever otherwise gotten the chance to learn about them or bother to look into myself. Anyway, I'll update as I go along. Haven't got much general stuff to say right now :) For now I've just decided I'll stay as long as I can and be as involved as possible, because even if it's boring intern work, there's a lot to learn and it's WWF - just being in an office full of tiger posters, panda logos and conservationists is enough of an honour. Plus I'm in the same office as the Programmes Director so just eavesdropping on her is a learning experience :P

And yeah, I had to add in a picture.


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