Blog post

Interning at Giving What We Can: The People's Perspective

3 min read
Oct 1, 2013
Lottie's second post on the Summer Internship focuses on the more anecdotal insights to the fortnight and gives personal responses from the people involved.

There are three main insights I will be taking away from my time with Giving What We Can: One conclusion is that being nice and doing good seems to be contagious. About 3 days in to the placement and I noticed myself letting in more cars on the motorway, starting up conversations with the bus driver and stepping aside for strangers on the street far more than normal. In case that gives the impression I was previously a horrible person and have now just been dragged up to normal levels of civility, I consulted my friends as to whether they thought this was the case. Confirmation that I was not previously rude suggests to me that spending 9 hours a day in an office with 20 other morally motivated interns working on alleviating world poverty may have rubbed off on my everyday mood and demeanour, a rather happy consequence.

My second personal insight is that I can and should be more productive with my time: when I could draft a speaker invitation or grant application in a spare 30 minutes to help further the work of Giving What We Can, the similar amount of time I spend each day scrolling through Facebook or YouTube seems rather worthless in comparison. In an office full of highly motivated individuals I picked up many time-management strategies as ideas to streamline my day as well as a greater sense of urgency. Fingers crossed that the dedication and work ethic will extend to my university studies this year.

The third thing that will stick most in my memory is when someone pointed out that by getting just one new member to sign the pledge you will have helped move a huge amount of money to one of the world's most effective causes. The contribution just one pledge makes towards alleviating poverty is just so great that I know this thought will motivate my work for Giving What We Can over the next year.

In order to get a more diverse perspective of the GWWC intern experience the other interns gave me their views:

"The internship has really got me thinking about the message of Giving What We Can, and the power and responsibility we have to improve the lives of those living in poverty. I hope to stay involved with Giving What We Can after the internship." Francesca - Christmas campaign

"I have had a great time on the internship because I felt like I was able to be really independent whilst also getting as much help as I needed. It felt like we were really valued and as well as the work itself the talks and workshops meant that I feel like I've learnt so much." Rebecca - fundraising

"Being surrounded by similarly passionate people made coming into the office everyday a really rewarding experience and something I looked forward to, rather than a chore. I'd recommend this internship to anyone and everyone who has some interest in charity." Gibran - media

"Doing the internship has been useful and rewarding. It's a much better use of the fortnight than anything else I could have been doing in that time, and I've enjoyed the sense of community which makes this workplace distinct." Tom - communications

And my personal favourite:

"Giving What We Can has Given What It Can to persuade me to Give What I Can (to fight global poverty) for the rest of my life." Chris - research