Meghan Pearson: Human Rights internship programme review and rating.

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In 2017, Meghan (from United States of America) completed a 9 week internship programme with Bridging Gaps in the amazing city of Cape Town, South Africa. The primary career area of Meghan's internship programme was Human Rights.

SUMMARY

Overview of Meghan's internship programme:

Year:
2017
Duration:
9
weeks
Location:
South Africa
Prog Choice:
CareerFocus:
Social justice, Refugee work
Nationality:
Status:
Undergraduate
Institute:
Saint Joseph’s University
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KEY INSIGHT

Meghan's detailed ratings

See a breakdown

Here's how Meghan rated the different aspects of her Human Rights internship programme.

Overall Rating: /10
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Meghan's detailed review of her experience.

01
Placement & programme experience
02
Location experience
03
Bridging Gaps' services & support experience
Placement & Programme
What were your reasons for wanting to complete in ?

What kind of internship experience were you initially looking for?

I was very inclined to work for an NGO but I wanted to include some kind of marketing into it, because that is what I am doing at school. (University) I was also really interested in human rights and international development.

How did your actual internship placement compare to your ideal internship experience? ?

Well the great thing about Regency is that they really focused on making sure I gained the experience I wanted and I was able to shape my internship to achieve what I wanted. I was able to gain marketing experience because Regency’s main source of revenue is adverts and documentary type advertisement and I helped the production team. Also their videos/documentaries are all focused on sustainable development and essentially helping people, which is one of my main interests.

Did you receive sufficient levels of supervision and guidance from your colleagues at your host organisation?

Yes definitely. All the staff at Regency were really helpful, especially Jackie who is head of production and my boss in that department. She gave me great feedback and she always had lots for me to do. They really liked my work so they would give me the feedback I needed and give me more tasks based on how well I was doing. I felt like I could go to any of my superiors for guidance and feedback.

Were you given adequate responsibilities during your internship?

Did taking part in your internship challenge you and help develop your skills?

Yes! I have always been interested in working at some kind of government or international agency focused on international development, human rights and humanitarian aid. As well as this I am also really interested in news media and production and so Regency was kind of perfect because they produce videos which cover all the topics I am interested in. I was able to gain different experience and develop my skills in production. I got to see the nuts and bolts of things, behind the scenes and the non glorious parts of production. I also gained some project management experience which was great and now when I go back to the States, I will be doing more project management at my job there and hopefully including the marketing and productions skills I gained as well.

Do you feel that you were given the opportunity to make a valuable contribution to your local host organisation?

Yes and I definitely felt like they were really appreciative of all the work I did and gave me really helpful feedback. If they didn’t like something I did they would tell me and suggest another way of doing it- it was definitely a two way street. I felt incredibly valued at Regency! I think in general a lot of NGOs struggle with efficiency because they don’t usually run like a business. I think having my business background really made a difference as I could use my experience and identify things within the organisation that could be standardized for example.

Overall, was this international internship a worthwhile experience that will help you achieve your career goals?

Yes I was really able to grow my portfolio I have tonnes of material now to put in there. I am also currently finishing up a video that I am kind of the creative director of. My portfolio has tripled in size just in these two months which is amazing!

Location
What fears did you have before coming to with Bridging Gaps?

Well I knew Cape Town wasn't the safest place I could be going and honestly most of the people back home in the States were very concerned about me travelling to South Africa.

What do you think about those fears now?

You guys answered every question I had and I felt way more prepared than any of the other internship agencies I talked to. I think that because I felt prepared and knew how to be smart about safety, which you guys definitely helped me do so, I felt completely safe. The most unsafe I felt was just crossing the street because of the drivers in Cape Town! When I go back home I am definitely going to say it is really not a dangerous place to visit as long as you are smart and aware of your surroundings.

After spending some time in the city, what is your impression of with Bridging Gaps?

Being down town Cape Town feels like any other big city- it could be in the US. When crossing the street, walking around and taking the bus it feels like any other city around the world. The only times I was like oh yeh I am actually in Cape Town was when I would go out and see the scenery and look up and see a giant, beautiful mountain! It really felt very metropolitan and not much of a foreign place which made it easy to settle in. After just 9 weeks I feel like I live here now!

Would you recommend as a worthwhile and enjoyable place to visit?

Yes definitely!! Whether it is to come here to work or just to come here for vacation, for sure I would recommend it! But, you would have to come for at least 2 weeks because there is way too much to do!

Service & Support
Did Bridging Gaps help you prepare for your trip sufficiently? E.g. placement search, communications, mentoring?

Yes I felt completely prepared! When I left the States I did not doubt what I was getting myself into at all. I wasn’t nervous at all either- I was excited!

How was your experience of Bridging Gaps while you were on the ground in ?

You guys were amazing- incredibly responsive and so prompt with everything!

What was the best feature of the Bridging Gaps service?

I think the preparation before I travelled to Cape Town was great, but also just placing me in the internship itself. I could not have asked for a better placement! You guys actually care and wanted to make sure I was getting the experience I actually came here for and I don’t think I would have gotten that kind of service from another agency. I think I would have just been another intern, another cheque. I really felt like you guys were invested in me getting the best experience I could.

Did Bridging Gaps help you prepare for your trip sufficiently? E.g. placement search, communications, mentoring?

Yes I felt completely prepared! When I left the States I did not doubt what I was getting myself into at all. I wasn’t nervous at all either- I was excited!

Would you recommend pursuing in with us to other people?

Yes! Without hesitation… and I will!

In what ways could our internship programmes be improved?

Honestly I wish I could give you some constructive feedback but… you’ve just been great!

Before you applied, how did you feel about the programme fees?

Having completed your placement and had the experiences you've have, what do you think about the fees now?

What would you say to someone that is considering an internship here but is concerned about the fees?

Anything else you would like to add?

Check out our Human Rights programme

Click below to see more a more detailed description of our programme to see if it can give you the career boost you're looking for.

Human Rights Internship Programmes

Challenge yourself, work on your personal development, learn from dedicated and passionate colleagues and assist an inspirational organisation in their work towards social justice and the promotion of human rights. Our human rights internships give you the chance to make a genuine difference in the lives of some of the most vulnerable members of South African society whilst gaining a valuable insight into what daily life working for NGOs or advocacy organisations is really like.

Internship Focus Options:

Social justice, Refugee work

Women’s rights

Healthcare

Youth empowerment

Human Rights Internship Programmes
IN PERSON
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