Tatjana joined the Prowibo Team in May of 2018. Throughout her two month internship, she assisted with the logistical planning for the 2018 summer school programs and helped to launch Prowibo’s Sponsor a Professor crowdfunding campaign. With her time as an intern coming to an end, we asked Tatjana to reflect on her experience at Prowibo and offer any advice to prospective interns.
Q: Why did you decide to do your internship with Professors Without Borders? What were your expectations going into the internship?
A: I decided to do my internship with Professors Without Borders because I think they offer a unique model for promoting development through education that no other NGO does. I believe in their mission and their values. I see the importance of what they are doing in order to promote education and achieve a sustainable society. My expectations for this internship were to learn a lot but also to contribute significantly to the organisation. I wanted to acquire more knowledge about the education sector and the different ways to prevent the brain drain in order to further development.
Q: Starting a new job/internship can be quite overwhelming. How did you adjust to your new workplace environment and how did you go about managing your workload?
A: I adjusted to my new workplace environment through a lot of support from the PROWIBO team, specifically from Ena, Caroline and Tessy and from my fellow interns and colleagues, Alexandria and Mary. Working in a highly dedicated and dynamic team has definitely helped me to adjust to this new workplace environment. I also relied on my own self-discipline for getting things done and overcoming obstacles and challenges. I managed my workload through good organisational skills and management skills, which are key to succeed!
Q: The mission of Prowibo is to increase professor mobility and contribute to a borderless system of higher education. What does higher education without borders mean to you? In your opinion, why is this important to the future of education?
A: For me, achieving higher education without borders means that every students has the right to access higher education, not just in his/her home country but worldwide. Unfortunately, in many developing countries, access to higher education is not guaranteed. Secondly, I believe that higher education without borders means creating a sustainable society in which students are not thousands and thousands of dollars in debt after completing their education. Finally, I believe that knowledge exchange and transmission contributes to borderless education. In my opinion, PROWIBO has been successful in achieving this so far.
Q: What were some of the challenges you faced during your internship? How did you resolve these challenges?
A: Some of the challenges I faced during my internship were getting in contact with some people that were highly important for certain projects, managing the amount of online activity and handling my workload in a timely manner. I resolved these challenges through working harder each day and relying on a great team.
Q: What is one piece of advice from your colleague/supervisor that has really stuck with you?
A: My supervisor Tessy has given me advice that has really stuck with me. She told me to always respect people’s time, to actively learn skills that you may lack, and to commit to projects if you can, but do not overcommit. I believe that it is better to sometimes under commit and over provide.
Q: What is your advice to future Prowibo interns and/or future interns that will work for nonprofits/NGOs?
A: My advice for future Prowibo/NGO interns is to be well prepared, flexible and always eager to learn. Be ready to give your best work and contribute to such a great cause!
Tatjana is a graduate of Richmond the American International University in London and holds a B.A. in International Relations and Chinese Studies. This autumn, she will pursue an M.Sc. in International Management and Finance with an emphasis on North Africa and the Middle East from SOAS. While Tatjana is from the Principality of Liechtenstein, she has been based in London as well as in Shanghai throughout her studies. In addition to her studies and work with Prowibo, Tatjana has held positions in financial sector, public relations and the health sector, where she established a non-for-profit organisation that supports children with cancer.
If you are interested in applying to the internship program, please contact us or send us your CV and a brief cover letter outlining what you would like to gain from the internship and how you can contribute to the organisation.
The interview has been edited.