Internship is a very productive program considering that it contributes to various institutions’ recruitment as well as it helps design a future career plan for young people who haven’t been exposed to the real world like myself. Being led by a motivation to self-evaluate my experience, I would like to share my internship experience at the European Division II of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MOFAT) from May 9 to July 6, 2007 with those of you who are interested in the MOFAT internship.
Many of you might wonder what exactly the role of an intern is. Obviously, it depends on what kind of intern position you are at but mine was mainly to assist diplomats and other people working in the office. Even though the job of “assisting” someone seems to have less responsibility than, for example, “creating” or “analyzing” something, it is not preferable to assume that the internship at MOFAT would be just simple.
In the European Division II, each diplomat has to deal with several European countries’ affairs. More than that, since many works at MOFAT are interrelated, diplomats often need to take a look at other divisions’ work as well. The mission of an intern is not to help only one diplomat but to assist all of diplomats as well as to do other office-related work. It means you need to pay attention all the time, especially, when there are several “urgent tasks” to be handled simultaneously.
Meanwhile, it might also be disappointing if no tasks are given to you or your task is too different from what you had in mind. I admit that there were days when that sort of negative feeling haunted me. However, after trying to look back of moments before I became an intern—the days when I was eagerly longing for the intern position, such depression turned into a new lesson that taught me how to face the unexpected situation.
“Harder to endure, sweeter to remember.” This neat proverb was quoted by the Ambassador of Norway in his articles which he wrote during the period of Norwegian King’s visit to
Through my experience, I learned more about the role of MOFAT, diplomats’ tasks, and the atmosphere of working in an office. However, more importantly, it allowed me to find my strengths and even my weaknesses which would help me when the moment to decide my career will come. This is the reason why my internship experience was a living lesson to design my life plan.
-Jung Min-sun (French Literature, 4) interned at MOFAT during the 2007 summer vacation.