Farewell to External Relations Intern, Heasoo Kim

In the words of Heasoo Kim,

“A 1-year journey with EAAFP was so amazing that I feel like the time flew in a blink of an eye. Studying World Politics at Ohio State University, I always wanted to work at international organizations. My 1-year internship at EAAFP Secretariat provided me with a great range of first-hand working experiences in an international organization that I would never get from my school. Overall, it was quite challenging since everything about EAAFP and its works was new to me, yet, was a great learning place where I could improve and develop my skills during working on the assigned tasks.

As an external relations assistant, I could engage in various important Partnership meetings by assisting the coordination of the events and writing the minutes. I could get practical knowledge on how the Partners which are composed of diverse national governments, intergovernmental institutions, and private corporates interact and engage in the conservation activities for the migratory waterbirds and their habitats. For me, it was such a great extracurricular lesson to learn about how these parties with their own interests can come together for achieving common goals.

Also, I worked on some design works since starting my internship and it was a really good chance to use and improve my design skills by producing the flyers, MOP 11 Sponsorship package, and by developing and managing several webpages on the EAAFP Secretariat website. Before working at the EAAFP Secretariat, I used to think that works of the international organizations would focus on the application of academic knowledge that I’ve learned from school. However, it was good to learn that the works of the Partnership are not limited to scientific studies only, but it applies different fields of studies and skills such as communication for promotion of the Partnership’s works and administrative skills for management of the organization as well to fulfil their goals which is the conservation of the migratory waterbirds and their habitats.

At the Ganghwa Crane welcome party organized by Mulsaeal on 12 Dec. 2020 © You Jin Lee/EAAFP Secretariat

After extending my internship, I could engage with lots of people with diverse backgrounds by assisting and coordinating various big events including the Flyway Youth Forum and birdwatching events. Due to COVID-19 Pandemic, not many physical events could be held but it was impressive to see how the EAAFP Secretariat and other organizations have tried to continue their conservation works through online platforms. While participating in these wonderful online and onsite activities, I could have a chance to interact with people in the conservation field around the world and learned how cooperation and interaction of people, society, and countries matter in achieving common objectives.

At the Ganghwa Red-crowned Cranes Birdwatching event organized by Irang on 27 Feb. 2021 © Yoo Jung Kwon/EAAFP Secretariat

Above all, what I think the most valuable takeaways from this internship is that I could learn more about migratory waterbirds and their habitats and could contribute to the conservation works. During the internship and by attending a few birdwatching activities, I could have a chance to closely look at the ecological connectivity of nature and human beings. If I haven’t got any of these opportunities to participate in the on-site activities and closely learn how these beautiful birds connect people, communities, and countries, I would have never been aware of its importance and connection.

I can describe my internship at the EAAFP Secretariat as a wonderful outside class that I could have ever taken. It was a pleasure to do my very first internship at the EAAFP Secretariat which has broadened my perspective on environmental issues and made me ponder my future career path. 1 year at the EAAFP Secretariat was a great honor for me to work with such supportive, warm, and marvelous colleagues who have always encouraged and supported me in accomplishing this internship. Thank you.”

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