Arale: A personal reflection on my three-month internship at SPA

Reflections From Our Team

I am very happy to write this reflection blog post on my experience as an intern at Somali Public Agenda. This experience changed my life. The internship was offered to me, similar to my fellow interns by the SPA Centre for Learning and Development. SPA is where I had the opportunity to understand more about research.

I got this internship through the intern entrance examination process, in which I scored the second best. My internship period started on April 5th and ended on July 5th, 2023. This was the first time that I ever got such a golden opportunity. I was impressed with the kind hospitality of the SPA team. They were humble, intellectual, and encouraged me to learn more about research.

It was also an honor to come be very warmly welcomed at SPA from the gate door and shown into the entire SPA offices and its different departments. I express gratitude to thank Farhia Mohamud for welcoming me to SPA and introducing me to SPA colleagues during my induction week.

After welcoming from the entire SPA departments including the finance, HR, and admin, I began to conduct my daily routine, which SPA assigns to interns. I was assigned to take, write and share minutes of every meeting. I was involved in research activities being undertaken at SPA.  I had the opportunity to be exposed to research practice and writing skills, which are consequential skills to acquire. I participated in the planning and convening of SPA forums. I was also specifically responsible for writing a summary of the key discussion points of the forums.

Moreover, I had the opportunity to get involved in a variety of tasks and activities that allowed me to gain valuable skills and experiences in different areas. I also took online courses on email professionalism, writing skills, research methodology, and how to become an exceptional writer.

Becoming a SPA intern normally changes your previous habits. SPA takes you to an environment of reading and writing, which are importantintellectual activities for human development. For instance, when I do media monitoring, I used to read multiple news outlets, which developed my personal skills and made me an open-minded person. In the SPA library, I found many books as well as previous and recently published research reports, policy papers, and governance briefs in different areas including peacebuilding, reconciliation, good governance, state-building, fiscal federalism, and social issues such as the rise of youth gangs (Ciyaal Weero) in Mogadishu, etc.

During my internship period, I obtained skills for how to work with different people and multi-task. The skills I learned from SPA and the interpersonal skills I developed from the SPA team will eventually improve and change my attitude and behavior in workplaces.

I could not forget that SPA not only provided me internship but also a monthly stipend to cover my daily transportation fees. It is not unusual to meet challenges in a new environment, but the SPA team’s collegiality and friendliness helped me adapt to the environment easily.

Finally, I extend heartfelt and unreserved gratitude to all the SPA team who provided me with their assistance and guidance when I most needed it during my three-month internship period at SPA, which really instilled a culture of teamwork, commitment, humility, and perseverance in myself. These priceless values will be an inspiration to my career and life and surely are key to the success of every person in a world of competitive workplaces.

Abdullahi Arale

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