The fifth and final Q&A in the DRMCCA internship series is with Karen, who recently finished a internship with the Global Climate Adaptation Partnership (GCAP), which is based in Oxford in the UK.
Karen completed her internship with GCAP at a distance, without needing to physically be in Oxford for the entire internship period. Read more about Karen’s experience below, and her perspectives on the links between GCAP and the DRMCCA programme.
What is your name, and where are you from? What are you doing on your internship?
My name is Karen and I am from Germany originally. I live in Lund and did a distance internship with the Global Climate Adaptation Partnership (GCAP), which is based in Oxford, UK. “Distance” means that I worked with GCAP through online collaboration for 3.5 months and visited my colleagues for one week in Oxford. GCAP is a small consultancy offering innovative climate change adaptation solutions to private and public organisations globally. For example, they are working on processes that allow investments to be easily screened for their climate resilience, including questions such as how are they affected by climate change and what is their carbon footprint. I found the internship through a contact in the Risk and Societal Safety department at LTH.
During my internship, I did research and data analysis to support ongoing projects and tenders. I mainly worked on the Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) plan for a new climate services project in Kenya. This included reviewing project documents, sector and context analysis and a MEL learning brief for a similar project and developing the plan from scratch. With feedback and input from colleagues, the plan took shape and was sent to stakeholders for review.
I also spent a good share of my time writing a couple of posts for the company’s blog on Ecosystem-based Adaptation. I chose the topic myself and am using much of that work for my Master’s thesis now. Getting feedback and input on the topic has been very helpful. Furthermore, I was able to discuss my thesis ideas with my colleagues and got some contacts to other experts.
What are your thoughts about your internship experience so far?
It was great to see the application of the course content from the DRMCCA programme. I used some piece of knowledge in my work from every course that I have taken so far, which was really encouraging and a prove of the relevance of the DRMCCA programme. I even went back to a group project from one of the courses to use it as inspiration. At the same time, a great deal of new topics within the broader climate change adaptation and disaster risk management field opened up, showing me that the programme can really cover only a portion and that there is still a lot to explore and learn. The DRMCCA programme has prepared me well and allowed me to gain the understanding and skills to develop these new topics for myself.
What’s been most valuable in your internship?
Getting to know a different style of work, with all colleagues being based in different locations and developing large pieces of work independently before they are pieced together was a very valuable experience. I expect this type of collaboration to be a good share of my career, so it is an advantage of having done it before.
The internship was a great experience, because it was at GCAP and because it was a very different style of work. It has confirmed my wish to work in climate change adaptation and disaster risk management.