A Personal Reflection on a My Three-Month Internship at SPA

Time flies instantly and things evolve quickly. It was only the other day (3rd July 2021) when I joined Somali Public Agenda (SPA) as an intern and become part of a loving, caring, and result-driven family. Three months have passed since that important day, but it feels to me like it has only been 3 days.

In December 2020, I called one of my friends but fortunately, the call went to a different person than the one I intended to call. That friend told me about a training opportunity for female researchers at SPA and has encouraged me to apply for it. Immediately when I came back home, I applied for the training, and I was lucky to be one of the 15 youthful female researchers who got selected. That training had opened many doors of opportunity for me and has changed my life forever.

After a few days into the training, I have learned that SPA offers a 3 months internship program to university graduates to get work experience. Soon after the training finished, I met with the SPA Executive Director Mahad Wasuge and asked if there is an opportunity to join the internship programme. He accepted my proposal and informed me that I would start in July 2021. On June 30th, Mahad rang my phone and informed me that the time to start the training has finally arrived.

On Sunday 3rd July, I availed myself to the SPA office eager to commence my training. The team welcomed me warmly, and I was introduced to everyone. I met a young, gifted, hardworking, and friendly team who were determined to help and guide me through the arduous tasks, which lay ahead of me.  I couldn’t have been happier. They immediately embraced me not as an intern but as someone who is  treated the same as anyone else here.

After few weeks when I familiarized myself with the aisles of the office, the SPA Director proposed I join a blog writing training, which the SPA Center for Learning and Development was conducting. I duly accepted that invitation and started the training. It was a well-crafted training with hands-on activities taught by experienced individuals and mentored by influencers and social figures. The trainees were also very motivated youth who were determined to make a difference in their lives and that of their community.

During the blog training, I acquired many lifelong skills. I published four blog posts. I also learned the fundamentals of blog writing and shared many stories, which used to keep me awake. After laborious work, blog writing eventually become a hobby, a place for me to heal and to voice my perspective.

The first month of my internship was the most productive month of the year. My first duty at SPA was taking weekly meeting minutes and sharing it with the SPA staff members via email. I also assisted the HR officer and researcher, Farhia Mohamud, when there was a large workload. Farhia was helpful and guided me well. She has amazing interpersonal skills in dealing with the staff and interns. In addition to that, I contributed to many other SPA activities including event planning and assisting different departments throughout my internship. Furthermore. I benefited from how to search content and my research skills improved dramatically. I became a professional blogger, and I was able to read many books and articles. My internship has taught me many new skillsets and has given me opportunities to network and know what I am good at and what I need to improve on.

Overall, my work experience at SPA was remarkable. I am immensely content with what I learned and the experience I accumulated in the 12 weeks I interned at Somali Public Agenda. I am grateful to all SPA staff for their unconditional support and guidance during my internship period. A special gratitude goes to my dear Farhia for her generosity and tutelage.

Asia Mohamed

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