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Pakistan Adventure In Minh Nguyet’s Internship

Pakistan adventure in Minh Nguyet’s internship

Have music will travel: SIM GE’s intrepid student intern Minh Nguyet (in red jacket) went with Pakistan’s cultural research group to record traditional rural music

INTERNSHIP turned out to be an adventure trip for former SIM-University of Birmingham student Nguyet Minh Pham from Vietnam, after she graduated in June 2012. She went to Pakistan, as part of a six-month internship. She stayed in the capital city, Islamabad, but also visited Lahore in the heart of the Punjab, home to many UNESCO world heritages, as well as to scary destinations like Peshawar in the north-west once dominated by Taliban and other armed groups.

Minh Nguyet, 22, recounts her experience:

Studying at the SIM GE campus in Singapore provided me a top-notch university education as well as the opportunity to work in far-flung destinations. Last year, for instance, I served in Pakistan, through AIESEC, a non-profit organisation that provides students with leadership training and internship across the globe.

The AIESEC-SIM programme is run by students. It provides internship work opportunities that include social and development work, and professional jobs in IT, engineering, business, the arts, teaching, and more. Students from one country would be sent as interns to another country.

During my study years at SIM GE, I was the AIESEC student vice-president for outgoing exchange from July 2011 to June 2012. Upon finishing my term, I went for the internship in Pakistan.

For six months to December 2012, I was Programme Assistant for the South Asian Federation of Exchanges (SAFE). I was part of the organising team for the Initial Public Offering Conference in Karachi in July 2012, and the Annual General Assembly of SAFE in Cairo in December 2012.

As part of my work in the team, I even published an article on the Business Recorder, one of the main financial newspapers in Pakistan.

Developing a curriculum

The main work during the internship was to write a curriculum for the financial literacy programme initiated by SAFE. There are seven programmes for different target audiences and my job was to develop a curriculum for each of them.

I was also in charge of the planning, budgeting and logistics to implement the programme. However, because of the limited duration of my internship, I only managed to finish three of the seven programmes.

I also delivered a training session to business students from the National University of Modern Languages. It focused on the use of credit cards, how to budget and the advantages of putting your money in the bank and not keep it as cash.

In the evenings, I volunteered my services to another NGO, the Institute for Preservation of Art and Culture where I did some marketing on social media for them, and organised their events.

The work with this institute resulted in I travelling from Islamabad to the south of Pakistan to meet many musicians living in villages. We interviewed the artists and recorded their performance for research documentation.

Dedication to eradicating poverty

I am keen to go into a career in helping the developing world, in areas such as eradicating poverty and bringing education to children and woman who have no access to it.

Hence, I intend to broaden my experience in the so-called Third World countries because I find them more appealing than Europe or other developed countries.

Moreover by experiencing the life of the world’s poor, I feel more in touch with reality, and my life becomes more meaningful.

Experience refugee camp life

During the summer vacation in my first year of study at SIM GE, I went to Israel and Palestine where I volunteered to help in a UN refugee camp in the West Bank. Such an experience has made me determined more than ever to pursue my dream which is to be part of a global movement that is untiring in making this world a better place.

I’m now with the World Youth Alliance, a coalition of young people all over the world to promote the dignity of a person and to build solidarity among youth in both developed and developing countries. I feel that I’m taking one step closer to my ultimate goal. I’m looking forward to visiting many more developing countries in Asia and Africa.

Mind-blowing time of my life

The time I’ve spent in Pakistan was one of the most mind-blowing, meaningful periods of my life. I’ve learnt many invaluable lessons that I’m still reflecting on, even after my trip. Life’s lessons sometimes take years to understand and learnt.

Through the internship, I have a chance to meet many CEOs, heads of businesses, heads of diplomatic missions as well as staff of international NGOs and UN agencies. I’ve also interacted with many intellectual and knowledgeable individuals from various parts of the world, all coming to Pakistan with a vision to help make it a better place. I saw many dedicated professionals who spent their life time focused on one aspect of development. Their inspiring examples have encouraged me.

Pakistan is a challenging place to live. Yet, being able to face through the challenges has made me realise my potential and extend my limits. I recognise I can live and thrive in many circumstances.

Minh Nguyet now works as Trainee at World Youth Alliance, a global coalition of young people training young people to work at the regional and international levels to impact policy and culture.

— Posted online 22 August 2013