By Soeun Choi, Atlas Corps Program & Training Intern

From July to December, I spent 5 months working with Program Team at Atlas Corps as a Program & Training intern. I came to Washington D.C. as a Young Fellow from Asan Academy program, a year-long leadership development program for emerging young leaders in South Korea. Writing this article at the very last day of an internship, I feel so lucky that I could have been a part of this organization which is full of passion and diversity. Serving at Atlas Corps was an invaluable opportunity since I wanted to work for the global nonprofit sector. And I was able to enjoy my DC life to the fullest with Atlas Corps.

My biggest role as a Training Intern was to support the Training Manager Ons (Class 31, Tunisia) and Connie (Class 37, Zimbabwe) to prepare and run every Global Leadership Lab event. Preparing October Orientation for Class 37, Immersion and Transition Retreat, I learned the basic process of event planning but also focusing on every detail to make a perfect event. During the Global Leadership Lab, I was able to meet many Fellows from every different part of the world with the passion to the nonprofit sector. As an international intern who are willing to work for the global nonprofit sector, meeting and working with Atlas Corps Fellows was a great experience, and it made me think about my near future.

As a part of the Program Team, I also supported Fellow recruitment process, sorting the applications to make the work of the Recruitment Associate and Selection Board members more efficient. Preparing every material for incoming and leaving Fellows has been my duty as a Program Intern. To observe and work for every event such as Fall Celebration and Diversity & Inclusion Gala was also an interesting experience. These events were different from the Global Leadership Lab, I was able to see the giving culture in the U.S. and think about how it is different from Korea. It was also fun to celebrate the fellows in Atlas Corps’ way!

Atlas Corps Team was always willing to support interns when they reach out for help and advice, and listen from us to make interns feel more included. I was able to reach out to organizations in South Korea and Washington D.C. with the help and advice of the staff members. Also, people in Atlas Corps always compliment and encourage others for every achievement and work they do. I have learned to work respecting each other regardless of the position or career, and have thought about what would make a good working environment.

Since this was my first internship experience ever, I cannot say that I have known what I exactly want to do from this internship. However, I am sure that I love to work with people who are enthusiastic for making this world a better place with an open mindset. Working at Atlas Corps with staff members, Fellows, and fellow interns was a perfect opportunity to start my career in the global nonprofit sector.