Six-week NGO internship in Cambodia are such a unique experience in my pursuit of career in public service and self exploration. Indeed, with six weeks, we are not going to change the Cambodian communities or impact all the people around us. On the one hand, the trip of internship is about myself; I am able to explore more about NGOs in developing countries and humanitarian policy in Cambodia, a country with an open wound; on the other hand, it is concentrated on helping others; however, at the end of my internship, I have realized that we need to replace the culture of fear, power, and violence with culture of justice. Moreover, it is impossible to impact thousands of people with the power of one, and we need to form a team of individuals who will reach out to impact ten or twenty people around them, and that will eventually add up to tons. I would like to pursue my application for Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, and with my improvement of knowledge on public service and social works, I will be able to impact more people around me in a more sustainable way. Public policy major will also open up the choices of my career, and I am very interested in working with advocacy groups or capitol office in D.C. during the next summer. As for extracurricular opportunities, mock trails or model UN would prepare me further for dialectical thinking and strategic presentation.
Uncertainty and challenges excite me in the career of nonprofit. Throughout my internship experience, I have learned from so many hands-on projects of funding proposals and website renovation, and lots of thoughtful people who are dedicated to bringing the changes to this beautiful country with their hearts at all costs. I would continue exploring my options in career of public service, like nonprofit, because it challenges my thoughts and strengthen my execution. However, to do a better job preparing for the internship in in the future, I encourage everyone, including myself, to commit to intensive research prior to the internship, for example, an internship in Cambodia benefitted me more after I watched Killing Field, a movie about the brutal history of genocide in Modern Cambodia; then, time matters more than you think, because the longer time of concentration and immersion into a culture of nation, group, or company, the more thoroughly you will be equipped to serve your tasks. My favorite part of my internship, informational interviews also bring different perspectives into my experience of internship in Cambodia, and moreover, I have been considering coming back to Cambodia during the gap year to work for Raju, the director at partnerships for peace.
This is indeed the end of the beginning of my passion in public policy, public service and social works. I am glad I have been open-minded about differences of culture and obstacles of communication. Unexpected friendship also made this trip even more valuable in my memory. All the mistakes and successes in this journey will become the milestone in my path to compassion, maturity and independence.