Stepping for the first time into 3FF, I brimmed with excitement. After all, it was my first work experience in London. I was happy about moving out of my small room and meeting people; people speaking different languages, eating different varieties of food, sharing different stories but all united by one cause – bringing communities together.
Being one of the many interns on the Internship Programme, I have had one of the most enriching experiences. Like the rest, I did not know what to expect by the end the of my internship period. I had prepared to learn quickly, acquire work experience in the UK charity sector and enhance my skills. However, I gained so much more. The internship programme allowed me to explore my own journey and identity by giving me opportunities to approach different tasks to the best my ability.
The internship is also a journey of self-reflection – “My internship allowed me to explore personal thoughts about my own relationship to my beliefs and identity, which was the last thing I expected when joining 3FF. Becoming ‘conscious’ of my thoughts about my background has forced me to reflect on the things that are important in my life, and realise that the internal complexity present in myself is equally present in others too”, aptly expressed by Bar Hariely, a Summer 2016 intern.
The engagement with one’s identity, and the celebration of differences in cultural backgrounds during the internship training sessions enlightened me, and taught me about communication barriers and techniques one can adopt to improve interactions in society.
There are a variety of tasks an intern will be tasked with. One is the intern shared task where all the different interns come together to plan and execute a fundraising event. With time constraints, the task seemed daunting. However, like Kaho Cheung, a Summer 2016 intern describes the process, “we brainstormed ideas for a fundraising event, leading to delegating and organizing tasks for each intern. The weeks went by quickly but everything was soon coming together, by the day of the event we had managed to complete everything. We had managed to raise more than the anticipated amount for 3FF. It was a great feeling and it was definitely a proud moment for the interns.”
Moreover, the different tasks give interns the opportunity to enhance their skill sets, from sharing experiences and creating new relationships. As Ruby Yueng, a Winter 2017 intern, found, “At the beginning I simply found it pleasant to hear the Mixed Up Chorus sing. I only began to see the beauty and understand the raison d’être for the choir when I learned a new song with them. It was a Greek folk song. It was a wonderful feeling to learn something new together. For the first time, I experienced what music can do – it opens us, and connects us in a simple yet intricate way. Where languages and words leave off, music begins. I felt and experienced this more intensely and vividly at the music workshops which the choir did with migrant and refugee groups. It moved me to see how music can disarm us and empower us with a pure sense of togetherness, of sharing and enjoying a moment in our lives together”.
Lastly, without the 3FF team, this internship would have felt incomplete. The 3FF team will welcome you with warmth and smiles. As Ingeborg Ljodal an intern of Winter 2017, expresses, “The 3FF team is diverse, something that is very valuable for the workplace. It gives the office an international vibe, welcoming everyone and in this way practicing what they preach. Inclusivity. Understanding. A place for all”.
Like the other interns, I have gained more than I had expected. My internship experience has given me new friendships, confidence in my communication and allowed me to share my faith story. It has made me more hopeful that organisations like 3FF can make society a better place to live.