As the program continues its course, I can’t believe we are over halfway through the program. The weeks go by so fast and it’ hard to realize just how fast everything happens. At my internship, I have been given more and more responsibilities. I typically work alongside my supervisor, who teaches me how everything works and why it is important. This has been especially crucial to my position in this organization since there are so many complex processes that come with attending each refugee. I honestly sometimes get nervous having the responsibilities I do since I am worried I would do something wrong and therefore really affect the lives of one of the refugees. However, this week I have a significant amount of time spent alone, in which all the time that my supervisor has spent explaining things to me I will have to apply on my own.
Besides understanding these processes because of the guidance of my supervisor, I think I have also been able to understand the work better because I have come to get to know many of the refugees better and therefore understand their situation better, what they need, and how to help them with their individual needs. In this way, I have come to reflect and build on my work skills, especially in understanding my leadership style. Before this experience, I would say that my leadership style was likely one in which I let everyone do their own thing, in which I try not to get too involved and let people do everything at their own pace, since I think that sometimes it can create tension with your peers or coworkers. I used to check in every once in a while just to make sure everything was going well and ask if anyone needed help with anything, in which I would offer my help if it was needed and if I had the time.
Although to a certain extent I still practice a lot of these skills, in which I make sure that everyone is responsible for their own part, I think I have come to value actually improving the organization however I can. I think I get somewhat nervous about overstepping, especially in this case since I am an intern and don’t have an actual position in the organization. However, I have come to really care about the work that is done at the refugee center. I think I have never really worked in an organization that was this involved in people’s lives, as in this organization has the potential to drastically change people’s lives. In my time working at the Centro de Acogido a los Refugiados de Vallecas, I have come to learn a lot about the refugee crisis and gain new perspectives on people’s lives, in which I think I have also gained a lot of life skills.
Now that we are on the fifth week of the program, I have come to realize that although the refugee center does a lot of important work, that there are also ways in which it can be improved. This is where I think my leadership skills have come into play, in which I try to give feedback on the ways in which the company can be improved as I complete my responsibilities. I am largely tasked with doing a lot of administrative work, such as making sure that reports are being filled out accurately, residents are being attended to, accompany refugees to important appointments or meetings they might have, and in a few select cases, even translate from English to Spanish and vice versa. In this case, I think my leadership style has definitely shifted to a style that tries to find ways to improve an organization.
With the company I am currently working for, I find that the responsibilities I carry out are ones that largely depend on organizational skills and outlining priorities. In addition, although I think I already was before, I think this internship experience has made me a much more collaborative person, especially when it comes to my personal role in the company. This experience is not only teaching me more effective ways to be a leader and how to combine multiple skills, but also how to be more confident in the workplace. Since starting the program to now, I have definitely noticed a difference in my confidence in the workplace, in which I find that I am more likely to speak up and contribute however I can. As the program continues, I am excited to enhance these skills and apply them to my productivity in all different areas, ranging from my schoolwork to future jobs.