We asked NCG’s intern Elena Alvarez Blomgren about her experience working at our head office for six months autumn 2019–early 2020. The internship was part of her master program on Sustainable Development at Uppsala University. It was arranged by the Swedish Development Forum (FUF), non-partisan and religiously independent non-profit organization with the aim to inform, raise awareness and generate debate about global development issues and Sweden’s role in the world.
What is your overall impression from your six months at NCG Sweden?
I applied for an internship at NCG because I wanted to explore the development cooperation sector. During these six months I have explored development cooperation with an insight in on how Sida, UN, EU and NGO’s work on both national and international level. In addition, I also gained experience of how a consultant firm works in comparison to a governmental agency or charity organisation work within the same sector.
What have been the most important tasks for you in terms of learning and usefulness for the next step in your career?
Understanding how the sector works (not always easy) because there is a lot to learn and report writing in different formats for example in different formats, for example the one used by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).
And the most fun tasks?
Definitely the trip abroad to Kyrgyzstan. I got the opportunity to work on the project in Sweden and then go to Kyrgyzstan and actually be part of the implementation of the project which was about municipal provision of water and sewage and related social impact. m
The most boring ones?
Taking notes at weekly meetings, even though they tend to be very entertaining from time to time with open floor discussions.
Any recommendations to NCG to improve for future interns?
I have had assignments to do but if there is anything, I would recommend NCG to prepare and plan assignments for the intern during the whole period. Understand me correctly now, the assignments were so interesting, so I wanted more working tasks with time planning.
Any plan for the nearby future?
I will go back to Uppsala University and finish the last semester of my master and graduate spring 2020