AFoCO intern wins award for outstanding performance in Overseas Internship Program by Korea Forest Service and Korea Forestry Promotion Institute

The Overseas Internship Program organized by the Korea Forest Service and the Korea Forestry Promotion Institute (Kofpi) aims to provide university students with an opportunity to experience working overseas in forestry-related organizations such as AFoCO, FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations), KIFC (Korea-Indonesia Forest Cooperation Center), World Bank, and as in private corporations. The internship experience eventually aims to groom global talents who are able to contribute to the development of global forest resources and international forestry cooperation.

Ms. Kim Hyeon Jeong served as an AFoCO intern in both the Regional Education and Training Center (RETC) Team and the Implementation and Management Team from 3 March to 2 June 2021 and recently received an award for outstanding youth talent in international forestry by the Korea Forest Service and the Korea Forestry Promotion Institute (Kofpi). In the award ceremony, she shared her internship experiences and plans for the future.

Hyun Jeong delivering her final presentation at the AFoCO Secretariat in July 2021

1. Why I applied

From my childhood, I had an ambition of being a person who can give a little bit of help to the world. This thinking became evident after becoming a college student and through gaining experience as I grew. When I was in 2nd grade, accidentally one poster about the Internship Program captured my eyes. At that time, the first thought was “I must apply when my last semester is coming”. Also, as a student whose major is foresty, I am always curious about Forest-based International Organizations. After exchange student in Malaysia for 6 months, my thought became deeper. I wanted to gain some working experience that achieves the same goal together while communicating with people who come from diverse cultural backgrounds. Therefore, I applied without hesitation even though the pandemic was getting worse and worse.

2. What I did

I was supposed to work in the AFoCO RETC in Yangon region of Myanmar, but because of the ensuing COVID-19 pandemic, I had no choice but to choose to work from home. I started my term as an AFoCO intern from 3rd March to 2nd June and had the opportunity to work with two AFoCO staff — Ms. Ryang Soozin from the RETC Team and Mr. Choi Sungho from the Implementation & Management Team. We communicated via various communication platforms such as emails, Kakao, and Zoom, among others. Over the course of three months, I worked on documents related to AFoCO’s projects and engaged in the preparation, and post-management of regular RETC programs and activities.
Hyunjeong facilitating AFoCO’s online training course on Community-based Forest Enterprise Development (CBFED) held from 31 May to 4 June 2021

3. After my Internship

Above all things, it was a great honor for me to have the chance to work with people in the forestry sector There were pros and cons in working online, but I managed to offset the cons by using time efficiently and completed my tasks on time. I utilized the rest of the time for self-improvement and spent a lot of time planning my future career. My mentors from the AFoCO Secretariat gave me much advice and encouraged me to find a direction for my career goals. Finally, I decided to go to graduate school to increase professional knowledge and skills and eventually become a person who can play a role in helping to protect the environment and empower future generations as well.

4. Last words

I think the 20s is a time to learn and get to know the world and myself. Now, I want to go beyond forestry and study the global problem of climate change. My internship at AFoCO has inspired me in various ways and I recommend all youths to apply for an internship at AFoCO should the chance arise.

Hyungjeong posing with her certificate after the award ceremony

Read the Korean article HERE.

Submitted by KIM Hyeonjeong, 2021-1 intern

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