Lucas Schokker joined Aflatoun in March of this year and completed his internship in June. He is currently a Sociology Master’s student in Radboud University, Nijmegen, where he also pursued his bachelor’s degree. He is interested in helping to solve inequality in various ways: inequality in decent, gender, sexuality and more. In his free time he is involved in a project to help LGBT+ refugees empower themselves. Below, Lucas shares his internship experience with us.
What brought you to Aflatoun?
Aflatoun was by far the most interesting internship company at the information market I attended at my university. The goals of Aflatoun fit my interests and I found it attractive to have the opportunity to work in an international environment. Working at the research department gave me the opportunity to apply my skills “in the field”.
What was the goal of your internship and your daily tasks as an intern?
At first, my goal was to assist the research department with the production of a baseline report for their project with young mothers in Tanzania. Due to circumstances, this was not possible. Later on, I helped the research department with various tasks. The “icing on the cake” was probably an overview of the state of research on financial literacy worldwide. It took quite some time to go through more than 280 documents on that topic!
What was the initial research question you came in with and how did it change over the course of your internship?
As described, my research question was initially focused on Tanzania, but later became more broadly defined. However, the topic of my thesis did not change. My thesis is focused on the effect on the age of motherhood for mothers in Tanzania on various outcomes. Knowing more about this could help Aflatoun programmes better address isues that affect the most vulnerable. My time at Aflatoun really gave me more insight, which definitely improved the quality of my thesis.
What are some key learnings from your internship?
I learned more about how I approach work and which kind a work environment works best for me. That’s a combination of solitary work and group work. I also gained a lot of extra knowledge about social and financial literacy, a topic I was quite unfamiliar with before.
What were some of the aspects of the internship you most enjoyed?
The Aflatoun team is great! I enjoyed their kindness, openness and hard work. I really felt part of the team. It was especially great to be included in so many training and group building activities. That made it easier to blend in and gave me inside in how a NGO like Aflatoun operates on a daily basis.
How has this internship helped you with your career goals?
It increased my skills in the field on monitoring and evaluating and development cooperation. It could well be that I later work in this field.