PILnet partners with legal professionals and civil society organizations globally to protect civic space, address global challenges, and work to build just, equitable and sustainable societies.We continue to develop, strengthen, and expand a wide range of programs, from strengthening the resilience of civil society organizations against the challenges of the day to brokering relationships between civil society and corporations. At the core of what we do, we prioritize sharing of knowledge and resources that are crucial in mentoring and supporting future generations. We had a chat with Rachel Fu who was part of our Hong Kong team last year. Below are her thoughts about life at PILnet.
- How did you come to learn about this opportunity and what motivated you to join PILnet?
I learnt about the internship opportunity through Hong Kong University (HKU) – it is a course requirement that we have to do an internship with one of the partner organizations of HKU, and I found what PILnet does as really meaningful – filling the legal service gap in particular – that’s why I applied.
2. Can you share a particularly memorable experience or valuable lesson learned during your internship?
I remember there was a meeting with an NGO looking to expand their board of directors. At the end, it turns out that their actual objective was to secure funding application approvals by enhancing investors’ confidence. Through this incident, my then supervisor taught me to always ask more questions and to never take clients’ words as they are at first.
3. How did your internship experience impact your future career goals and aspirations?
My internship was great and everybody at PILnet was awesome! Through working at PILnet and several other NGOs, I was able to reflect on my career goals and objectives which led me to realize that I am more interested in working at a law firm compared to an NGO because I’m always more passionate about casework than capacity-building work throughout my internships.
4. Can you tell us about a specific project or accomplishment during your internship that you are particularly proud of and why?
I am most proud of the NGO pro bono service menu that I worked on because I created it from scratch. There were also a lot of drafts and alignment involved throughout the process so the sense of accomplishment was strong when I got it done.
5. Can you give an example of a challenge you faced during your internship and how you overcame it?
I was pretty confused with the task on the NGO pro bono service menu because I have not worked on any similar tasks before and I was not entirely sure what language style was expected etc. After working on a first draft and soughting Isabel’s opinion, I was able to adjust the piece based on her advice. Even though it was time-consuming, it was a great learning experience.
6. How did the internship experience help you to develop new skills and knowledge that you can apply in your future endeavors?
I learnt a lot of soft skills (excel tools) throughout the internship and I am currently putting it into practice in my current role. I’m grateful that everyone at PILnet was so generous with sharing their knowledge and experience with me.
7. Can you share an example of feedback that you received during your internship and how it helped you to improve?
At the exit interview, my supervisor shared her candid feedback on my interpersonal skills which allowed me to get along well with everybody as well as how I was open to take and implement feedback. I would continue to do this in my future internships/practice.