#56 Life of a 27 year old intern

Here we go, once again I have left my family, boyfriend, and my friends to move to a semi foreign place (to say it’s completely foreign would be cheating) for the sake of… what? Career advancement? Exposure? Adventure? Challenge? Escape? さあ

The truth is, most French universities require their students to do an internship in the final semester usually ranging from 3-6 months to acquire OJT and some work experience before stepping into the real world, so here I am. At one point in time it was my aspiration to work at the place I’m interning now but it was just a faraway dream. I remember checking their vacancy page every other day to see if there were any internship vacancies since my first year of Master’s and sure enough, one day, there was a vacancy open! Awesome. So I applied, and a few months later, I got invited to do a written exam, a few months of no response, and I got invited to do an interview. Still another few months of silence and suddenly I receive a positive email telling me I got the position. Luckily I applied early!

So now I’m an intern at UN H * a b i t a t Regional Office of Asia and Pacific. 🙂

I’m still on my first week but things are soooo different working at an international, English-speaking setting than a Japanese-speaking, Japanese corporate culture company like C * a p co m. Fukuoka also has a more laid-back feel than Tokyo. I see many airplanes taking off and landing, which kinda reminds me of Geneva. The subways aren’t too crowded and more people give you eye contact. Food here is also good so far, and groceries are cheaper so there really is nothing to complain about! The cherry blossoms are also in full bloom and the weather’s getting better everyday. I speak the language, I do the same body language — I’m totally in my element. Isn’t it weird that I feel more inconspicuous in Japan than in KL? Sometimes I like the feeling of getting lost in the crowd and being just one of the faces in the sea of people. A disclaimer: My writing style (not like I have that much of a style per say) may be a little more sentimental than usual because I’m currently reading 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami. Based on my experience, I know I’m going to be disappointed plotwise but I just can’t stop reading the frigging 1000-page thing!

Anyway, being a 27 year old intern has its benefits. I have real 9-5 work experience and I more or less kinda know what I want to get out of this internship. What I need more of, is just perseverance to stick to reading academic articles and gain the skill of dissecting the fancy and fluffy jargon to get to the cores of their messages. The system is so complex and I’m still trying to wrap my head around it but I already know more than what I knew 4 days ago since I started. If I keep going like this, maybe I’ll achieve my dream (?) of becoming an international civil servant!

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