Internship at the OECD (Najung KIM)

From July 16, 2018 to December 7, 2018, I had the opportunity to conduct an internship at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD), specifically with the Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) Team in the Education Directorate. Professor Keiichi Ogawa had advised me throughout my doctoral program that internship experience with international organizations will greatly enhance my potential career at one of these institutions. Following his advice, I applied for the OECD summer internship in 2018 and with support and reference provided by Professor Ogawa, I was able to obtain this great opportunity. During the five months of my internship, I was able to develop important skills needed for my future work in this field.

Writing and research skills
Working under two extremely supportive supervisors in the ECEC team, I was very fortunate to be part of a project to produce a working paper on curriculum alignment between ECEC and primary education as a second author. This paper, which will be published by the OECD in January 2019, has enabled me to improve my writing and research skills. As my internship period coincided with the duration of the project, I also was able to experience and learn about the complete cycle of a short-term bilateral project with a member country.

Working with stakeholders
As the OECD works closely with stakeholders in many strands of their work, stakeholder engagement plays an integral role to help them connect with one another. Throughout my internship, I was coached by my supervisors and given opportunities to approach and engage with some of these stakeholders – this will continue to be an important skill for me as I continue to pursue work in international institutions.

Another important benefit that I have enjoyed while working in Paris was networking with a myriad of experts in this field. Professor Ogawa connected me with his former colleagues who are currently based in Paris; they were more than happy to meet with me and give me great advice. Moreover, internships can be key to obtaining internal recruitment information that can lead directly to one`s future career. While working as an intern, I had ample opportunities to network with experts at the OECD, both in and out of my team. Thanks to the internal hiring information that I obtained through various networking activities, I was able to apply for and successfully acquire a consultant position with another team during my last few weeks as an intern, which began immediately upon completion of my internship.

Overall, I have benefited greatly from this internship experience and can understand better the value of internships that Professor Ogawa has been emphasizing to his students. I strongly encourage all current and future zemi students who have not had internship experience to consult Professor Ogawa and work with him to benefit from his extensive network, which could lead to a valuable learning experience.

Authored by Najung KIM (Doctoral Student)