Name of intern: Elizaveta Klochkova
CEU department and program: School of Public Policy, MA in Public Policy
Year of graduation: 2019
Name of internship host organization: UNICEF
Name of unit you interned at organization: UNICEF Kazakhstan Country Office (Nur-Sultan)
Role: Innovations Intern
What did you do during your internship? Can you describe a typical day in the office?
Initially I was supposed to read materials related to the activities of the country office and UNICEF more generally and prepare an overview to serve as a basis for the office’s further work in the area of Innovations. Over the course of the first few weeks, I realized that just reading documents would not give me enough perspective, so I began asking for additional tasks to help my supervisor. Doing a variety of seemingly ‘random’ small things allowed me to get a better understanding of different mosaic pieces I needed to assemble for the final strategy. I worked with documents, translations, program summaries and even did a bit of promotional material design. My typical day in the office was comprised mostly of shifting between different tasks and of discussions with my colleagues on how to complete these tasks.
I also had a very exiting work trip to the city of Almaty to see the final presentations done by students who were part of UNICEF Innovations Lab Summer Residency—it was both challenging and exciting to keep track of the innovative technologies they had used in their work.
How did the internship help you implement your previous experience and your knowledge gained at CEU?
Before CEU, I had a very vague idea about how policy documents are assembled, as I had only seen the ‘final product’. I am very grateful for Julia Buxton’s course ‘Writing for Policy Audiences’ and the attention to evidence and detail all CEU professors trained us to have in working with such materials. Thanks to CEU, I also had a much clearer idea on the topic of my internship – innovative technology – through Cameran Ashraf’s course on cyber conflict.
What is your advice to current students who are thinking of doing an internship?
My first advice is the obvious (but often ignored) – start in advance. The internship search is not going to be easy, especially if you consider that you will have deadlines for each of your internship-related applications. I would also say that you should not worry and overestimate how difficult it will be – the best life hack here is to just keep looking, applying and to not be discouraged when you get a ‘we regret to inform you…’ letter. NOs will sometimes happen, but they should not discourage you from going forward. Also, it is always nice to have a specific plan in mind, but don’t get upset if the first internship you get is not *exactly* what you want. An internship is a great opportunity to explore the world around you and ‘re-check’ what you want from your professional life.