Internship Report Chhay Dechkunn

Intern Dechkun
Intern Dechkun

My name is Dechkunn, a university student majoring in International Relations at Pannasastra University of Cambodia (PUC). My role as a Junior Research Associate here in the KAS office was to contribute and to support all the activities of KAS in Cambodia. While my main responsibilities include proofreading and editing the KAS articles, I also had to assist several events of KAS, proofread and publish KAS posts on social media platforms, as well as other activities which are related to the fields of foreign policies and digital economy. This is my story in the KAS office.

I would say that my three months in the KAS office was one-of-a-lifetime-experience. This was because I got to join the KAS team in June 2020, during the time when Cambodia was still on high alert due to COVID-19 and as the pandemic had wreaked havoc elsewhere around the world. Thus, I had to adapt myself to a new working environment while the whole KAS team was also modifying its working processes and methods as the COVID-19 precaution measures. Indeed, I found myself facing new challenges, due to the decrease of face-to-face meetings and new protocols for organizing events. However, at the same time, I still found great opportunities to improve myself and become more proactive and resilient in this difficult time. My internship at the KAS office has been a meaningful and useful journey which has sharpened three skills that fit my future career paths, namely: my research skill, programs planning skill, and communication skill.  

First of all, I have noticed that my research skills have been hugely improved. Before I joined the KAS office, I mostly acquired research knowledge from courses in the university and books. However, I never had the chance to experiment that knowledge which I had accumulated. However, through working in KAS, I was able to get the chance to practice those skills which I have learned. I got to proofread and edit articles from many inspirational and professional authors including university students, professors, fellow researchers, and even an ambassador as well. During the process of editing and proofreading, I also managed to learn new perspectives from those articles which further broaden my views on issues in Cambodia and beyond.  

Secondly, I also got to assist program managers in organizing KAS programs as well. Each program needs a lot of preparations beforehand. Due to COVID-19, KAS was not able to organize large conferences. However, small events were still conducted in the KAS office. As such, I was able to assist KAS program managers in organizing necessary logistics, composing program templates, and connecting to involved participants and stakeholders for those programs. 

Last but not least, my internship here in KAS has paved ways for me to broaden my network and sharpen my communication skill. Due to the programs which I helped to organize in KAS throughout my internship period, I got to know and talk to many inspirational people from various institutions such as the embassies, NGOs, think-tanks, and universities. In fact, I was also able to outreach to some of those acquaintances which I made and request for their assistance in doing my country report for KAS as well. 

Finally, what I would always remember about KAS is the hospitality and the friendliness of the KAS team. Although we mostly met each other virtually, I still had a lot of valuable learning experience from them. One important thing I learned from KAS is to always ask for feedback. I am really grateful to each and every member of the KAS team for all their feedback and assistance, especially my supervisor, Robert. Robert is an inspirational role model and he always shared many good and interesting insights whenever we had the chance to meet each other face-to-face. One important message which I would always remember from him is “to be proactive and never stay low, always be confident in your ability.” I’m sure that all these knowledge and experience which I acquired from the KAS team will be very helpful to my future plans and careers.