My name is Yeabsira Petros, I am a 24 year old Ethiopian and I joined ICV in February 2014 as a Project Coordinator intern. Willing to discover a new environment after a first work experience in an NGO in NY, ICV appeared to be the perfect workplace where I could develop and put my knowledge and skills into practice.
I joined the ICV team to gain insight into the internal operation workings of an NGO, to improve my communication and writing skills, as well as to build a professional network. And I sincerely do believe that I have succeeded.
Although at first worried that I would have to make coffee and run an infinite number of errands for my superiors, my experience here proved me wrong. In fact, as a Project Coordinator Intern, I had the opportunity to work in various projects, such as the 2014 Geneva Health Forum and the CERN film festival. But that is not it. Indeed, aside from joining various ICV projects like MigraLingua, in the role of an Amharic Interpreter for a clinic, GreenVoice, Language cafe and Thursday night open mic, I have also worked on Public Relation strategies, ICVâ€™s website publications and the 2014 Fete de la Musique festival. My recent and current tasks include editing the SewToSpeak article, which was written by my colleague Denise, and composing an article on the Beijing +20, the Womenâ€™s Rights conference coming up in November.
Because of its involvement in helping the community, my experience at ICV was very inspiring and fulfilling. In fact, with projects such as MigraLingua or GreenVoice, ICV helps expats in translation and interpretation services and seeks to raise the public's awareness on sustainable living through various events such as â€śLetâ€™s do it Genevaâ€ť.
In addition to this, I have met amazing people. Immersed into a multitude of cultures and languages, we sometimes call our office â€śthe small UNâ€ť. With colleagues from Italy, Ethiopia, Bolivia, America, Spain, France, Aruba, Swiss and Germany, we spend our lunch hours looking for the country that detains the best diet tips.
On a more serious note, I have learned to blend into a working team, to trust other's reliability and to overcome challenges. I also improved my writing and organization skills thanks to ICV. Personally, I have understood the importance of patience and listening attentively and I now go that extra mile in any task at hand, irrespective of its importance and recognition.
My personal recommendation for anyone who wants to get involved with this great organization is, first, as a volunteer, to be attentive to the reasons why you are volunteering for a specific event. In fact, the more you are interested in the content of an event, the more you will enjoy your experience and thus, indirectly, contribute to its success. You should also be punctual, professional and remain calm in any kind of situation. Concerning future interns, I recommend you to be flexible, proactive and willing to accomplish whatever tasks one asks you to complete.
Working for an NGO is very rewarding and satisfying but situations will not always be smooth sailing ... So be prepared to always do more, to think long-term and to give your best.