Faces of UNDP Thailand series
Meet Taratan, a creative and energetic force at UNDP Thailand
March 24, 2023
1. Tell us about yourself: What’s your educational background?
I’m Taratan Intarachatorn or Janjao. I recently graduated from Thammasat University, Bachelor of Political Science and International Relations (BIR). I grew up in a typical Thai household and attended Thai schools, but I was lucky to have a chance to spend 3 years of my high school life in London, and spending time abroad has widened my perspective and approach towards my career path.
2. What made you apply to an internship program with UNDP Thailand?
I have always been an active kid who loves to be on the stage and open myself up to new adventures through volunteer work. However, during the time of online classes, I stumbled upon an advertisement for the "Ambassador for A Day" campaign, and I decided to join without hesitation. That event was my first exposure to UNDP.
The first impression I had was “Wow, this place is huge!”.
Then I became really inspired by the people I met here and thought to myself that “I want to work here too!”
Apart from the attractive organization and staff, the reason I applied for the Communications and Outreach intern position is that I want to expand my knowledge from an International Relations (IR) background to learn more about communications for development. IR is very versatile, in the sense that it allows you to see the big picture—in hands with the Comms team who plays a critical role to represent the organization. So, interning in this position helps me to see the bigger picture which enables me to make better choices on my career path.
3. What are your activities or main responsibilities? What is a day at the office like?
If you don’t like routine work, you have come to the right place because every day is different.
Let me begin by saying that one of the perks of working in this office is flexible working hours, and my day usually begins at 9.00 am at the office.
On Mondays, I would start by checking the social media calendar to write social media update emails and circulate them among colleagues. This is followed by joining a weekly meeting with my team that allows us to foresee key activities and events we must cover throughout the week and plan ahead. Then I would sit with my computer to work on social media coverage, administrative work, or creating graphics.
But there will always be something that gets you off the chair; one day, you may be the photographer on the field visit, an interviewer at the conference, or an exhibition/booth organizer. You will never get bored of this fast-paced environment where you can see practical approaches towards the achievement of sustainable development.
4. What are the challenges you encountered during your internship period? How did you overcome it?
Working in a fast-paced environment, it is undeniable that meeting tight deadlines can be stressful. I think one of the best ways to handle this is to plan ahead and prioritize tasks. For example, when I have to edit videos in a short period of time, I would prepare my selected footage, background music, and narratives so the editing process can flow more smoothly. When there are too many tasks to handle, I would consult with my team to distribute the workload, hence, it is not too overwhelming.
5. What set of skills have you developed most throughout the internship period?
The hard skill that I developed most is creating visual graphics, as it was quite challenging at first. Nonetheless, it gets easier and more fun as I gained more experience. Colleagues in my team were a great help that guided me by sharing tips and tricks.
While the soft skill I developed most would be problem-solving. When coordinating with outsourcing or other agencies, many unpredictable situations can occur, but I consider it a learning curve as it teaches me to be more analytical of situations.
6. Tell us your favourite moment while interning with UNDP Thailand
My favorite moment of this internship was the chance to participate in the Sustainability Expo 2022 which was held at QSNCC, where UNDP Thailand was invited to join the exhibition with other UN agencies. The highlight of the UNDP booth was the Jenga game which attracted people of all ages and genders to visit the booth. As a staff member, I had to explain the rules of the game and give out prizes to the winners. It is a very energy-consuming task, nevertheless, it was really fun! Some people come here not knowing anything about the SDGs, but I was able to convey the message in a simple explanation, so I was proud of myself. From the many booths and exhibitions, I learned that not many people truly know about the SDGs or UNDP’s mandate and that is the point that our team will work harder on—to widen the knowledge and outreach.
7. How does this internship programme benefit your career path/choices within the UN or beyond?
The internship program with the communications team equipped me with a communications and multimedia skills set which are add-ons from my political science degree. I would say that the experience opens more doors to new ideas and widens my opportunities to engage with successful individuals.
Colleagues here come from diverse backgrounds and industries, and I have been able to talk to or get some advices from them which is something that I’m very grateful for. Exchanging views with different people with more experience helps me plan a better career path.
8. What SDGs are you helping to implement through your position?
I want to say every goal but that would be an exaggeration. As a Communications and Outreach Intern, the most distinguished goal I helped implement, therefore, is goal number 17 which is “Partnerships for the Goala” because I liaised with many people in the organisation as well as the general public for SDGs advocacy.
9. What piece of advice would you give to those who are considering applying to the Internship Programme?
Don’t be intimidated by the big “U” and the big “N”. Believe in yourself that you are capable but don’t be afraid to fail. I would advise you to accumulate relevant experience and tailor your CV to the job description. Prepare for the test and keep an open mind for the interview.
10. Reflect on your internship experience with UNDP Thailand
I want to thank UNDP Thailand for providing this amazing opportunity. This 6-month experience met all my expectations and beyond. Working in the Communications team has allowed me to see the big picture, equipped me with skills to flourish, and prepared me for my future career path.
3 words to describe your work in UNDP Thailand: "Embrace Diversity, Well rounded experience and Self Development"Taratan Intarachatorn
The Faces of UNDP Thailand is a series to echo the voice of UNDP staff who support UNDP and the community to advance the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
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