05 June 2013

Katipunero for One Summer

by Manuel Lester S.Niere

I consider this summer one of the most productive, if not the most productive, summer I’ve had since I started college. This summer made me experience what employed life feels like.

When I applied as an intern at the Affiliated Network for Social Accountability in East Asia and the Pacific (ANSA­–EAP), I expected to gain knowledge that will be useful for my individual development and in my pursuits in the field of Development Communication. My expectations were quite high because of the good feedback I got from previous interns of ANSA–EAP.

I was assigned to be part of the Citizen Participatory Audit (CPA) and the Enhancing Transparency for Impact (ETI) projects. I was supposed to use my writing skills to come up with concept notes and process documentation, my photography skills for photo documentation of the different project activities, and my video editing skills to create audio-visual presentations. However, as I managed to complete these requirements, I was also able to take on some extra tasks that I enjoyed accomplishing. For example, I was asked to consolidate and analyze results of survey questionnaires for Pilot 2 of CPA. I enjoyed it because I suddenly became literate in the many features of Microsoft Excel—in using pivot tables, to be specific. It was tiring to look at the results of survey from more than 400 respondents but it sure was meaningful and interesting.

I also enjoyed meeting with high-ranking officials from different government agencies, such as the Commission on Audit, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, and Department of Public Works and Highways. It was a little bit overwhelming but it helped me expand my network.

This experience taught me that I really have to step up when tasks not originally assigned to me come up. Though it might disrupt my schedule, it will surely bring me additional knowledge.

Since the previous interns from UP Los Baños performed quite well, I felt like much was also expected of me. I believe I did my work to the best of my ability; I only hope that my supervisors think the same and that I met their expectations of me.

After a month and a half of being an intern, I can say that I experienced a rollercoaster ride in Katipunan Avenue, Quezon City, where the ANSA–EAP office is located. I also managed to enjoy summer because all of us interns were able to join a weekend team-building trip. Through the activities that I attended for my assigned projects, I even managed to socialize with people from different social classes. I consider all these achievements indeed.

However, with all the positive experiences are some not-so-good ones. For instance, I live quite far from our office and it was a struggle to wake up earlier than I was used to. Also, considering the nature of my tasks, I had to spend a lot of time in front of the computer, which sometimes irritated my eyes. Still, these are just minor things that I didn’t bother to pay much attention to because I was enjoying.

All in all, I can say that the experiences that this internship program gave me were fulfilling. I now feel more mature as an individual and I feel more ready to face the employed life. Thanks to my mentors, I’ll be able to share new knowledge to my peers, which can also help them in the field of Development Communication.


Lester Niere, ANSA-EAP intern from April to May 2013, is a Development Communication student from the University of the Philippines-Los Baños. Lester, who lives about two hours away from Manila, willingly spent a considerable percentage of his summer vacation commuting to the ANSA–EAP office to complete his internship requirements.

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