First day. Nerves and anticipation are running high. I made my way to the Engender office where I was greeted by a very welcoming team. Once introductions were out of the way and my agenda for the week explained, it was time to get to work. As the ‘Our Bodies Our Rights’ conference was occurring the next day I helped with preparations for it which included assembling goody bags, making signs, packing boxes and a mountain of stapling. Despite ending up with a tired hand from all the stapling, I found the day interesting as helping to prepare for a conference was not something I had done before.
Upon my arrival at the ‘Our Bodies Our Rights’ conference, I began helping with registration before listening to the speakers. Later on, I got to sit in on one of the discussions happening at the tables in the afternoon giving me an insight into the types of conversations had at conferences and how many different people from different organisations are involved in the same issues. Throughout the day I got to meet a lot of interesting people and many issues and facts were brought to light that I had no knowledge of.
It should come as no surprise that I also got to experience the aftermath of a conference. This included looking at and recording the feedback on the evaluation forms and seeing how different people had engaged with the conference. I was also presented with the opportunity to speak to three members of staff about what their roles at Engender are and what they do within their role which was very insightful as it is not a typical job that is presented to you as a career path when you are in school. As a young person, social media is something I engage with every day however, I had no knowledge as to how an organisation like Engender operated their social media. Therefore when I was shown how Engender use social media and had the opportunity to help create a thread on twitter, I learned a lot and found it very engaging.
I was very thankful to have the opportunity to go to a meeting with Emma Ritch, Executive Director of Engender, about Human Rights. I got to experience what a meeting between many people from different organisations was like and how they all related to different issues. Although it was complicated, the meeting was very interesting and again raised issues that hadn’t even crossed my mind prior to it.
Considering that you are reading this, it will be obvious that I was also given the chance to write a blog. I have never really written a blog before so it was a new task to me but I wanted to tell people about what my amazing work experience week was like at Engender.
Spending the week at Engender has provoked a lot of thoughts in me and given me an experience that could never have been replicated in a classroom. I have thought about things that had never even crossed my mind before. I discovered how an organisation like Engender works and the types of issues they confront and how they go about doing that. I have met and conversed with many new people and heard many different opinions on topics affecting many people. Overall, I have learned and gained a lot from doing my work experience at Engender. It is an experience that will stay with me for the rest of my life and I am very thankful that I got to do my work experience at such an inspiring organisation with amazing and kind people. I will now be much more aware of issues that affect people, women in particular, on a day to day basis. If anyone had the opportunity to do work experience with Engender in the future I would greatly encourage them as, hopefully it is obvious from this blog, I have had a great time with them and will take a lot forward with me.
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