Farewell to Yoomi Sim, Communication Assistant

In the words of Yoomi Sim,

"As an English Literature and American Culture Double Major, I felt that I did not have enough background and knowledge to pursue the career I wanted; to work at an International Organization that focused on the Environment. Internship opportunities at other environmental organizations available at the time, were only open to individuals with related majors, such as biology or international relations. The Communication Assistant position at the EAAFP Secretariat, however, was open to all majors and seemed like the perfect Segway for me. Furthermore, being a Communication Assistant meant that I could bring the skills I studied as an English major to my work such as writing speeches, articles for the EAAFP website, drafting SNS posts and other written tasks. My familiarity with English also helped in translation and interpretation tasks throughout the internship period and came in handy when communicating with various people who visited our booths at different events.


Yoomi Sim ©Eugene Kim / EAAFP


As a Communication Assistant my main task was to become the bridge between the Secretariat and the public, conveying the Secretariat’s messages through various media outlets such as SNS, speeches and even a local news article. To do so, I helped manage EAAFP SNS channels, website, and monthly eNewsletter. Another important task as a Communication Assistant was to support CEPA activities and campaigns organized by the Communication Team. I mostly helped take lead in projects for World Migratory Bird Day (WMBD) such as creating the light pollution factsheet standing banner or managing the Small Grant Fund for WMBD. I also supported the Youth Think Tank Competition and helped organize its various online workshops and closing ceremony; I became a co-moderator for one of the workshops. Other than these two main activities, I also helped support CEPA activities under the Incheon-Hong Kong Sister site programme and helped in the production of the Korean Version of the Black faced Spoonbill Lolo’s Flying Journey Education Pack, supported the following Environmental Education Workshop and helped during the EAAFP Black Faced Spoonbill Conservation Forum. As an intern I also completed other tasks such as sending out the annual EAAFP calendars, writing meeting minutes for various meetings such as the monthly CEPA Working Group meetings and the Partner’s Workshop, running EAAFP booths at invited events, writing briefing notes and trip reports for business trips and other simpler tasks such as setting up the meeting room for student visitors, giving presentations about EAAFP and taking photos to name a few.

Taking a quiet moment to write this article gave me the opportunity to fully embrace all that has happened the past year. With an extremely busy and eventful 1-year at EAAFP, I never had a chance to take in all we have done and accomplished. Going through a year worth of photos and materials I realize how much I have learned, experienced and grown as a person.


EAAFP Christmas Party © EAAFP Secretariat


One of the most important lessons I take away from this internship is learning that everyone can do something for the environment where they are with whatever skills they have, whether it is language skills or business skills. When first joining EAAFP, I had thought the only real way to make changes for the environment was through scientific methods. However, after experiencing firsthand how communication and education can also make a difference, I realize there are many more paths I can take for conservation other than becoming a researcher.

The internship also gave me valuable opportunities to learn basic working and management skills, starting as a newbie intern on the first day to later becoming a senior intern guiding and leading newer interns. It also gave me insight on how international organizations work and collaborate with each other, as well as giving me experience in organizing and attending events at both domestic and international levels. Through these opportunities and experiences, I feel I am much better armed and ready for a career at an international environmental organization.



EAAFP Secretariat at the IUCN Leader’s Forum © EAAFP Secretariat


One of the most valuable takeaways from this internship would definitely be the people. As an intern at the Secretariat, I had the opportunity to meet people from different environmental sectors at various levels, speaking with them, hearing about their experiences and learning. The best, however, would be the wonderful Secretariat staff. Our amazing officers and staff members who have helped not just me, but other interns grow, learn, and find our own footholds and paths to our futures. I would like to sincerely thank them all for their encouragement and guidance. Our warm and lively interns also is what makes the experience so valuable. Meeting other like-minded youths who are driven, and passionate helps inspire and motivate everyone who meets them.


EAAFP Staff Retreat © Yoomi Sim / EAAFP


Moving onwards from this internship, I am no longer scared but excited to take the steps forward into the future. I hope to stay closely in touch with everyone I have met and look forward to seeing all the wonderful things they will accomplish, hoping that we can once again work together to continue making changes for the environment. To possible future interns for the EAAFP Secretariat who are unsure whether they should apply, I would like to encourage everyone to go ahead and take the opportunity. It will be a priceless experience."




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