In the words of Sinwoo Won,
“Working with the EAAFP Secretariat as a Communication Assistant was the most valuable life experience. Since my freshman year, I have been eager to join the EAAFP Internship Program as a lot of testimonials motivated me to do so. Before applying for the job, I could not specify my career goal although I still wanted to work in global conservation and environmental issues. Through this internship, I aimed to get an answer to find my own way in this field through hands-on experience. As of now finishing my internship, the EAAFP Secretariat not only helped to find what I should do for my future career but also gave me invaluable insights and taught me what kind of attitude we should take as a conservationist.
Farewell party © EAAFP Secretariat
As a Communication Assistant, I supported CEPA messages to engage more public in conserving migratory waterbirds and their habitats. One of the reasons why I applied for the Communication Assistant position is because CEPA perfectly matches my viewpoint toward conservation work. I believe that a bottom-up approach is critical to capture people’s attention and lead them to participate in conservation work. The work experience in the EAAFP Secretariat showed me diverse ways to approach the public and made me contemplate how to develop more effective communication skills. I engaged in managing social media and website, publishing a monthly e-newsletter, producing the EAAFP calendar, and supporting workshops and meetings.
Incheon-Hong Kong Environmental Education Workshop © EAAFP Secretariat
The first and biggest event I supported was Incheon-Hong Kong Environmental Education Workshop. By supporting the preparation of the workshop, I have learned how much effort the environmental educators are making in their place and realized the importance of the capacity building. It was a fascinating experience to facilitate the in-person event after the outbreak of COVID 19 and I was able to learn about communicating with organizers from two different countries and coordinating the local event with them. Most of all, the participants of the workshop which were local educators in Incheon inspired me and motivated me to find my interest in environmental education. Although I was a newly joined intern and a beginner in the conservation field, everyone genuinely encouraged me and appreciated my effort to support this workshop to be successful.
Booth operation in Asian Bird Fair © EAAFP Secretariat
People I met in the EAAFP Secretariat are priceless assets in my life. My supervisor was always supportive of me exploring new things, face hardships I encounter while working, and considering my ideas in positive ways. In addition, each of my colleagues in the secretariat taught me good lessons and their hard work and passion touched me. I would like to share the most touching words I heard in the EAAFP Secretariat from the former Chief Executive, Mr. Spike Millington when I asked him what is the most important when we project our message to the public. He said that ‘Share your passion. Once people recognize your passion, they will start being interested.’ His answer to my biggest question in this field shocked me and gave me a lot of energy during my internship period. I hope all I met here keep their passion to conserve the migratory waterbirds and spread their good influence to the world and new interns in the future.”