Fall Internship in the Montreal Office – Anna-Gaëlle Chesnier-Piña and Gorka Planchuelo-Monnier

This fall, I had the opportunity to do an internship at the QLF office in downtown Montreal. Gorka and I saw the offer, and we got very excited since this NGO worked in areas that we are deeply interested in. Lucky enough, we both got the interview and had the opportunity to do the internship!

I had to work with the logistics for the congress in Barcelona, and Gorka was in charge of editing Alumni stories for the website. All this for the success of the 2016 Second QLF Alumni Congress. Since we both have been living in Montreal for 4 years, to discover a new environment was a great relief. We had the chance to work with two amazing co-workers, Julie and Mégane, who helped us and advised us on our work.

The biggest challenge was to write biographies without meeting the person in question. Even though we had interview recordings, sometimes it was difficult to write about someone without knowing his/her feelings. We had the words but we didn’t have the gestures or expressions from the interviewee and a picture is worth a thousand words. However, thanks to communication and team spirit we accomplished the task with success. The latter resulted in an excellent writing exercise in which we had to write in a professional way but not too much in order to catch a maximum of readers’ attention.

Moreover, this internship allowed us to learn a lot more about QLF and to have an insider’s point of view of it. Among other things, we learned how the Middle East program has been created and how it works, which is very impressive, in my opinion. In fact, even though it wasn’t QLF’s initial main goal, the NGO nowadays works with people from Jordania, Israel, Palestine, Lebanon and Syria which gives to it a more international dimension. Julie and Mégane also talked to us about the internships that take place during the summer in Newfoundland. These illustrate how QLF seeks to develop knowledge and tools about the environment to students in QLF’s home region. Indeed, it is important to know the natural resources and the biodiversity present in such areas since we live in them.

QLF was a perfect opportunity for a lot of reasons. First of all, we had the opportunity to see how a non-profit organization works: what are its goals and how it defends its ideas. Second, it has been a good opportunity to make great contacts for the future, thanks to QLF’s Global Leadership Network. In fact, once you enter QLF, you always stay in touch because you get closer to people from around the world who are interested and devoted to various environmental causes through the GLN Online. Finally, as we mentioned above, the internship allowed us to improve our writing skills which is useful not only for the academic field but also in our professional lives.