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Sara with the Lepra teddy in the head office Sara with the Lepra teddy in the head office

Sara’s internship experience

17 January 2019

Working in an environment of complete unfamiliarity has been what I can only describe as a wholesomely diverse experience. In a matter of weeks I have been fortunate to participate in a range of roles that have allowed me to refine and broaden my expertise set.

So what does a day in the life of an intern at Lepra consist of? Tasks ranged from utilizing social media, researching donors, understanding the mechanisms behind fundraising, as well as having the opportunity to play around with filming and editing; these skills enabled me to get a real understanding of how a charity operates.

One crucial element to the nature of this internship was the independence of being able to approach tasks in a manner that was best suited to me. This, coupled with the encouragement to engage in tasks which I was both familiar and unfamiliar with, meant that there was a real sense of growth. Therefore, the internship was more about a two-way process of learning from Lepra, and vice versa, being of simultaneously huge benefit to the charity. Being a practical person, it was initially concerning that working in an office would not be fitting for me; however, the variety of both tasks and people at Lepra meant that I was consistently engaged, making this internship one of the best career-guiding decisions I have made.

Moreover, I was able to be part of the creative-decision process through giving my personal input of ideas, and this was a crucial part of working at Lepra: to be a valued team member with equally valued opinions allowed me to feel like we were making a true impact to help change lives.

This is the nucleus of Lepra: people. Not only is the charity adamant to ensure employees are treated with the utmost respect, but the focus of the charity itself is person-orientated.

Huge emphasis is placed upon eliminating prejudice and discrimination, and helping people affected by leprosy to maintain their independence and purpose. As an undergraduate student studying Human Rights and Law, this was a defining factor as to why working for Lepra was so incredibly worthwhile, as it allowed me to work in an area where I knew for certain I was making a long-lasting impact in the world.

So what’s next for me? Well, working for Lepra gave me an invaluable chance to discover where my skills lay best and where there is room for improvement, which are not only applicable to a charity-sector job, but also relevant for many other areas of employment. The combination of experience, transferable skills, as well as a deep sense of well-being, has given me a huge boost forward into the next step of my career. Before working for Lepra, I had little sense of which direction to turn to; however, now I have been able to develop a career goal out of my passion for helping people.