Team – July 25th, 2019
What drew you towards the internship position at DCHI?
I was really looking for an internship that would offer a thorough introduction to the Humanitarian Sector, without narrowing the focus of the work too much. The robust board, and coalition that DCHI has, really stood out to me as being a fantastic platform to get the overview of the sector that I was looking for. I also really appreciated how much flexibility the role seemed to be offering, clearly indicating that I could realise my own initiatives, and guide my own tasks, whilst still offering me constructive supervision.
What has been a personal highlight of your internship?
An overarching highlight has to be how many amazing events, roundtables and workshops I was able to attend, with 2 in particular that stand out. In May I was able to attend a roundtable on behalf of DCHI in London, on collaborating in the third sector. On top of being a fascinating event, I was very proud that I was given this level of responsibility and trust. The other event that stood out to me was the 100 years of Save the Children Symposium, where the UN High Commissioner of Human Rights did a keynote, along with many other fascinating speakers. All the events have offered countless networking moments, and shown me how varied and impressive this sector can be.
Another highlight I have to mention is how wonderful my colleagues are – It’s a small but mighty team – they have supported me from beginning to end, and we’ve had a lot of fun!
Has your view on humanitarian innovation changed since starting this internship?
If I’m being really honest, the field of Humanitarian Innovation was truthfully not something I had ever heard of. I had learnt about the Humanitarian Sector within my studies, and knew it was something that I was personally interested in, but ‘innovation’ was an unknown to me, and very intimidating.
However, when I started reading about DCHI online, and had the opportunity to see the Humanitarian Accelerator Programmes being launched, I realised that all innovation meant was changing something or trying something new to see if the status quo could be improved. For the Humanitarian sector, this could only mean improving aid in order to make it more impactful and financially efficient, whilst using all available resources albeit from other sectors.
Having seen how increasingly enthusiastic NGO’s and government are about wanting to try and adapt to more innovative methods, I am strongly considering using all that I have learnt on Humanitarian Innovation for my Master’s Thesis next year. So to answer your question, it’s been a steep learning curve, but a very positive one.
What would you advise anyone thinking of applying to an internship at DCHI?
I would say that if you are even slightly curious or interested in learning more about the Humanitarian Sector, and where innovation fits in, then you should absolutely apply with the assurance that you will learn a lot from nearly every perspective in the sector. Also, don’t be afraid to take initiative as in my experience you will only be met with enthusiasm and support.
Ultimately, if you’re looking for a laid-back office environment, great colleagues and above all, want to be treated like a valuable member of the team (i.e. not a ‘photocopying and getting coffee’ intern), then this is the internship for you!
And finally, what does the future hold for Lotte Senior?
Well, in the next 12 months I will have finished my Masters, which feels like a challenge as it is! Joking aside, I have a genuine interest in going into the Humanitarian Sector, and so I hope to gain some more work experience in different settings, including some field work along the way. After that, who knows!