This article is part two of a two-part series about WYA Internships. Click here for part one: Tips for Applying for a WYA Internship.
Did you know that the World Youth Alliance added over 86,000 new members in 2014? Or that dozens of new WYA chapters were started around the world in 2014 as well? What about WYA’s new field-tested Human Dignity Curriculum that has been taught across different countries?
Each of these endeavors—in fact, virtually every WYA activity—involved the hard work of WYA interns. What WYA does is only possible because of our talented, dedicated, and unrivaled interns around the world who work with our six regional internship programs and our international internship program. We love our interns at WYA. They are hardworking, skilled individuals with a passion for human dignity—what more could you want?
So you’ve applied for a WYA Internship and been accepted? Congratulations! We want you to have a wonderful internship experience. Here are some tips to help make sure that happens:
It’s Okay to Ask Questions
First of all, don’t worry—you’ll receive briefings, trainings, and all the background information you will need at the beginning of your internship. Be sure to pay attention and take good notes during these sessions because they will be very helpful.
Second, don’t ever be afraid to ask questions at WYA, and that goes double for during your orientation period. What’s most important is that you understand and feel empowered to perform your role in the office you’ll be working in for the next few months.
When Managing Your Projects and Tasks
At WYA we often operate on a project-based system. That means you will receive an assignment from your supervisor to complete a specific task within an allotted timeframe. Your supervisor will provide the general background info and training (if necessary) for you to successfully finish your assignments.
Again, you are always welcome to ask any question you may have at WYA. This includes inquiries regarding how to best accomplish your projects and tasks, when they are due, and which projects receive priority if you are faced with lots of tasks at once. Overall, it’s always a good idea to make sure your supervisor stays up to date on all your projects and has copies of all the important documents and files for your projects.
Understand the Mission
WYA was started because of a vision and a mission to accomplish it. The interns we accept are those who believe in the same mission, and the internship is designed to deepen your understanding of the ideas, values, and causes that are central to WYA. This may be one of your best opportunities you have to practice articulating your and WYA’s beliefs in a debate or discussion setting. So don’t be afraid to take advantage of all the discussions and trainings given to you and that may be happening at your regional office!
Maximize Your Training Opportunities
Throughout your WYA internship there will be Track A Training discussions, and some internships even include White Paper training programs. Our internships are designed to provide you with not only a deeper experience with our work, but also a rich interaction with the ideas that constitute WYA’s vision. Even if you have finished Track A Training prior to your enrollment in the internship, discussions with new people—especially those from different places—can be very enlightening. For those of you who will be participating in the White Paper training program, watch out for our upcoming post on advice for how to prepare for the White Paper exam.
**Special Note for Those Going to the International Internship in NYC**
If you are coming to New York, be sure you have a valid US visa (if you need one). More information can be found on the website of the US Embassy of your country. Contact them and let WYA know if you are unsure as to whether you need an entry visa.
Be sure to coordinate with the WYA staff members in New York regarding your arrival details so that there is someone to let you in to the WYA building. Contact WYA if you run into any trouble upon your arrival in New York.
Most of all, don’t forget to have fun during your internship! After all, we are a youth organization. Be nice to your fellow interns, build relationships, and don’t be afraid to have fun together. Some of the best bonding occurs among our interns after hours when going out for a pizza or watching a movie together. We look forward to welcoming you to the WYA family!
Desiree Go Venturanza is the Operations and Human Resources Manager for WYA Headquarters in New York City.