Internship Report Soth Chhayheng

Greeting! My name is Soth Chhayheng. Currently, I am a second year scholarship student at Thammasat University pursuing a Bachelor of Political Science in Politics and International Relations.

I only discovered Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung in 2020, but the missions of the foundation in Cambodia really impressed and inspired me to apply for an internship at this German political think-tank. In August 2020, I began my 3 months internship as a junior research associate at KAS Cambodia. My main role was to assist the program managers and support all the ongoing projects.

I had two main expectations before I started the internship. One was to learn and discover the professional working process in a non-governmental organization so that I can take the benefits from that experience to fostering my personal and professional growth. The second was that because I wanted to contribute to the missions of KAS in the Kingdom of Cambodia even though I didn’t know what exactly I could contribute to such a big organization like KAS but one thing that I could count on for sure is my commitment. Yet, everything turned out to be even far better than what I’ve expected.

On my first day at the KAS office I was already impressed by the formidable work environment. The team is very small but full of outstanding people. The whole team, from director to supervisor to colleague, was very friendly and welcoming.

I have been involved in a lot of projects and events with KAS during these past three months. During this internship, I have witnessed the professional and personal growth of mine. In this experience I gained significant know how that will help me in my future personal and profession through the management of tasks with project partners, guest speakers, and participants from different backgrounds. Not only did I communicate with them about our common projects but I also used this opportunity to build networks and even make a few friends too. This is an important skill of the 21st century that cannot easily be enhanced at school.

Secondly, I have gained project management knowledge. For instance, I was assigned by my program manager to implement KAS Picture Oppose Plastic Photo Contest (KASPOP). I am very interested in work projects and I believe that KAS has allowed me to reach the needed skills to fulfill this interest.

Thirdly, this internship provided both soft and hard skills development. I was able to sharpen research and analytical skills, moderation, and public speaking skills, as well as organizational skills. I have been involved in organizing KAS Political Education Academy 2020 that enabled young Cambodians to learn, discuss, and enhance their political participation in Cambodian politics. I consider KASPEA 2020 as one of the highlights of my internship at KAS. Because in just this single project, I was able to expand a wide network with like-minded people, improved moderation skills by being one of the moderators of the programs, and enhance my organizational skills as well.

Last but not least, I am very thankful for the opportunity that allowed me to learn, grow, build a network, and sharpen my ability in building my professional career. I would recommend young university students to join KAS as an intern or as a participant in any program provided by KAS. Because at the end of the day, you will be proud of the journey you had with KAS. I appreciated Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung for its generous acts and impactful contributions to Cambodian society, particularly for the young people.

Soth Chhayheng