Overseas Internship Seminar: Programs for International Cooperation

Kobe University’s Graduate School of International Cooperation Studies (GSICS) held an overseas internship seminar under the theme on “Programs for International Cooperation”. The date of the seminar was Tuesday 9th June 2015 and the venue was 4th floor presentation room in GSICS building. It was chaired by Prof. Keiichi Ogawa and the presenters were (in the order of presentation) Mr. Erick Gonzales, Mr. Katsuki Sakaue and Mr. Jeje Okurut, all doctoral students in GSICS.

The seminar was attended by doctoral, masters and research students, and its purpose was to create awareness amongst students regarding the existence and availability of internship opportunities with international organizations such as Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and UNESCO. In addition, it served to motivate students to apply for the various internship opportunities since these opportunities promote personal and professional development as well as fostering international cooperation.

Prof. Ogawa opened the seminar by sharing his own internship experience with the World Bank as a doctoral student at Columbia University, as well as his professional experience working with the World Bank and networking with other international organizations including ADB, IDB, UNICEF, UNESCO and OECD. He then proceeded to welcome the three presenters to share their internship experiences.

Mr. Gonzales conducted internship with the IDB, a Regional Bank for Latin America and the Caribbean based in Washington DC, USA. Mr. Sakaue conducted internship with FHI360, a non-profit human development organization whose head office is in Washington DC, USA. Mr. Okurut conducted internship with UNESCO Bangkok, the Asia and Pacific Regional Bureau for Education located in Bangkok, Thailand.

During the presentations, Mr. Gozales, Mr. Sakaue and Mr. Okurut each talked about the processes they each went through in getting the internship opportunities. They went on to share key outputs achieved during the internships, as well as the lessons and challenges encountered. Moreover, each of the three presenters gave advice on how to search, prepare and apply for internship. In general, the presenters talked of the need to prepare a good resume (CV), the need to conduct prior research about the organizations of interest, the value of having good communication, interpersonal, analytical and writing skills, the need to exceed expectations and the value of showing interest in areas/ topics one would like to know about and keeping in touch with the networks/ friendships developed during the course of the internship, for future job opportunities.

The final presentation was followed by question and answer session, which enabled the participating students to express their own desires to conduct internship with international organizations. Responses to the questions were first given by the student presenters then later by Prof. Keiichi Ogawa, who in addition to giving more detailed answers, illustrated the value of overseas internship opportunities by citing experiences of some of his former students currently working with international organizations.

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Authored by Jeje Moses Okurut
Ph.D Candidate