Just over five months ago, Indira Bose, a former student at the London School of Economics, began her internship with WFP in our London office. This was no standard internship and she was inspired to see the power of her ideas at work raising awareness about hunger. Here’s her reflection on all that she learned about how to bring people together to solve hunger – and how she’ll take these lessons with her as she becomes a humanitarian.
I can’t believe my internship with WFP in London is already all over! I am not sure what exactly I expected of my internship here. I do, however, have this distinct memory from my first day of Caroline, our head of office at the time, asking me if I wanted a coffee. I immediately shot out of my seat and asked if I should go make it. To which she laughed loudly, saying “NO, is that what you thought you would have to do here? That isn’t your job!” And it was true. I soon discovered the stereotypical intern tasks of fetching coffee and filing were not part of my job here. I was made to feel part of the team with my own unique role to play.
One of the highlights of these past five months was the live tweet-up that we in the London office organised in the build up to World Food Day. It all began as an impromptu suggestion to my supervisor Andrea, who then encouraged me to pitch it to the rest of the London office, the Youth Outreach team and the Web team. The end result was a successful live blog hosted on Thompson Reuters’ humanitarian news site, Alertnet where people from around the world got the chance to ask WFP experts- Greg Barrow and Challiss McDonough- their questions about global hunger and how to solve it. It even got a mention in the Guardian! This is but one example of the level of responsibility I was entrusted with during my internship and the support of everyone in the London office of my ideas and suggestions.
Another highlight for me was the chance to go speak at my old university about WFP and its work. As I stepped into my former lecture theatre at the London School of Economics and Political Science and looked at the eager faces in the seats in front of me, I found it weird to think that a few short months ago I was one of them, desperate to gain insight into the seemingly impenetrable world of humanitarian work. All my nerves quickly disappeared as I began to speak about an organisation whose work I have come to strongly believe in. Before my internship I had always considered food insecurity to be one of the most pressing issues facing the world today, but it wasn’t until now that I came to really understand that hunger is a problem that can be solved and the amazing strides that WFP have made in trying to solve it!
As I prepare to begin the next chapter of my life, I’ll take with me a wealth of experience and knowledge that I have gained over my amazing five months at WFP. I only hope that in the future I will be lucky enough to work with an organisation as incredible as WFP and have colleagues as welcoming as those that I have worked with here!