What does the future hold?

Faculty of Social Sciences
From the Field

By Marah

Student, Honours in International Studies and Modern Languages

An international map
''As we near the end of this internship experience, various thoughts occupy my mind''.

Marah, Honours in International Studies and Modern Languages, Alternatives, Palestine, Teacher Creativity Centre (TCC). 

Most predominantly, I find myself thinking about the future. With one semester left of my undergraduate degree, there is much uncertainty of what my life will look like afterwards. At 21 years old, most of my existence has revolved around my education. Learning shapes us as humans from the day we are born, and it has shaped me and made me who I am today. Pondering such a huge change in my identity has been overwhelming, but the bigger part of me is excited for the future. I believe change is healthy and necessary, and I look forward to seeing what my life will look like in a year.

The reason I mention these feelings is because of the impact this internship experience has had on how I perceive the future. Everything about this process has helped prepare me for my professional life, from submitting the applications to sending in completed assignments. For example, I have created resumes and written cover letters for other jobs, but they have mostly been retail or customer service jobs. Writing a cover letter for a position in my field was completely different, and was helpful as I now begin to apply for full time positions for next year. Moreover, the pre-internship training with our uOttawa supervisors and the Canadian NGO Alternatives have helped immensely when it comes to being in a professional environment for the first time, especially one that is at a distance. I am equipped with multiple strategies to deal with tough situations that could arise in a workplace, knowledge that will be of use in the future.

Another instance of how the internship has impacted my perception is the nature of the work involved. I used to think that working full-time would only encompass certain repetitive tasks, and that leaving university left little room for new learning. The nature of our work in this internship has rendered this thinking completely false. Over the course of the past few months, I have learnt so much about the education sector in Palestine and how COVID-19 has altered our way of life. It has become clear to me that one never stops learning, and that future jobs bring much possibility for growth. Additionally, dynamic work topics means much variation in the types of tasks completed. Over the last few months alone, I have researched prominent issues, written methodologies and a literature review, and also prepared for conducting interviews and focus groups. These tasks have been anything but dull, and have encouraged me to constantly think creatively.

Finally, if you are a student reading this, interested in applying to the internship program, I have only one piece of advice for you: go for it! Perhaps international travel will resume and allow for field internships again but even online, this opportunity is not one to miss.