As I will be starting my fifth week at Peace Corps, I am almost exactly half way through my internship. One week in I came up with objectives/ goals I wanted to achieve during my time at Peace Corps and shared them with both of my supervisors to hold me accountable. My objectives were the following:
- By July 1st I will have created my own Data Tools and uploaded them onto the Peace Corps Intranet for posts abroad to use.
- By July 20th I will have attended 20 professional development workshops put on by Peace Corps (i.e. Brown Bags, lectures, Lynda.com tutorials, etc.).
- By the end of the summer I will have spoken to three different professionals in the field of international development regarding the path they took to get to where they are today (i.e. masters programs, PC, field experience, etc.).
- By the end of my internship I will have read two Programming and Training manuals from the Knowledge and Learning Unit.
So far I have completed objective 1 (well before the objective date). In regards to objective 2, I have attended 10 professional development workshops put on by Peace Corps. I may have to extend the deadline to a more realistic one but we will see as time goes on. I currently have one lunch meeting set up with the head of the Evaluation Unit at PC and a coffee meeting set up with one of my supervisors to discuss my future, how they ended up at PC, where they’ve worked previously, etc. (objective 3). And finally, I am half way through objective 4, having read one training manual on the role of the volunteer in development and the promotion of capacity building.
The goal setting was just one of the ways I have tried to make the most of my internship. I have such a fabulous opportunity working for, what I would argue, the coolest federal agency. I have an excel table with my goals and check-in dates to meet with my supervisor and assess my progress. I also created an excel document to monitor and track the activities, tasks and seminars I attend. I’ve also reached out to meet with people in the office to look over my resume and discuss interview skills.
Objective 1 is what I am most proud of. For the first two weeks I was solely responsible for uploading data collection tools, made by sector specialists and our resident MRE employee responsible for data collection tools. Finally, it was my turn to create, design and develop my own data collection tools, in conjunction with the CED sector specialist, for the Community Economic Development sector. They are now on the PC Intranet page for posts and volunteers to use abroad. They will improve the overall data quality.
Everyday I learn something new and everyday I am even more grateful for this opportunity. All of the skills I have learned and will be learning in the future are transferable to my career and marketable to future employers. I am gaining real world experience with the government and it’s intoxicating.