Internship at FHI360 in the United States (Natsumi OHASHI)

I got an opportunity to conduct internship at FHI360 Office in Washington DC, USA, and it started from August 13th to September 24th, 2014. FHI360 is an international non-profit human development organization dedicated to improving lives in lasting ways by advancing integrated, locally driven solutions. I was deployed to the Secondary Education team called Global Learning Group (GLG) and my supervisor was Ms. Ana Florez, the leader of the team. Before travelling to the USA to start my internship, I had the following objectives, which I aspired to achieve during my time in FHI360: (1) sharpen my competitive edge such as analytical skills and English ability; (2) make my career plan clearer through deepened understanding of the way people get engaged international organization working. During the internship, the management and administration of FHI360 gave me two main activities and these are: (1) assist in analyzing lower secondary education systems and tracks in the world; (2) participate in the various activities held inside and outside FHI360. These activities are strongly related with my objectives.

In relation to the first activity, I assisted in analyzing the tracks of lower secondary education system regardless of economic levels of countries in the world. To effectively complete this task, I also worked closely with the Education Policy and Data Center (EPDC) team during data gathering. It made my work much easier that I received valuable advice from my supervisor, EPDC team members and other senior officers whenever I had problems. I learnt how to make effective analysis according to the directives/ demands and how the results and messages can be shown clearly inform of reports. I presented the analysis results on the last day of my internship, in front of all the GLG members. Besides receiving useful comments from staff members specializing in various fields within the education sector, my presentation inspired a very engaging discussion among them. My supervisor was satisfied with the comments and suggestions my presentation generated, which serves as a measure of the attention and importance secondary education is receiving internally. Though this activity was a very demanding task, it helped me foster logical thinking and analytical skills, since I had to learning methods for analysis and outputting reports.

Regarding the second activity, I got opportunities to participate in one internal event and one external event in Washington D.C. This experience gave me a panoramic view of international development field in addition to deepening my understanding of inner working of the organizations. In particular, I attended an internal event organized by GLG called international literacy day. In addition I attended an internal workshop on digital education organized for the World Bank staffs. To attend the workshop inside World Bank, Dr. Mari Shojo, who is Ogawa seminar alumnae working with the World Bank kindly helped me to enter and participate in it. Through these activities I met many experts and professionals in educational development fields and each of them helped me gain a clearer view of my own future career potential and options. I do believe that I will not have reached this sense of awareness if it wasn’t for the internship at FHI360.

Finally I would like to express my deepest gratitude to my academic adviser, Professor Keiichi Ogawa, who gave me this precious internship opportunity and my supervisor at FHI360, Ms. Ana Florez, who extended me warm support through the whole period of my internship. My special thanks also go to Mr. Luis Pagan and Ms. Rebecca Potts, who provided me with guidance and instructions on daily basis, and all the staff in Secondary Education team and EPDC team. I also would like to give my profound thanks to Dr. Mari Shojo and Dr. Shinsaku Nomura, great Ogawa seminar alumni working as economists at World Bank, and everyone who kindly gave me his or her precious time during my internship.

Natsumi OHASHI
Master Student