Anthony Stonehouse internship experience

Article, 06 August 2012

Tony StonehouseTwo years of volunteering in rural Tanzania was the first step that led to my mid-life career change which brought me to London and ultimately to IIED. 

After earning my master’s degree in environment and sustainable development at University College London, I hoped to gain some work experience with an organisation whose vision I shared, and where I could apply my diverse knowledge and skills. Fortunately, I was chosen for a three-month internship as a photo researcher. 

The goal of the internship was to build an online digital image library which would be a valuable resource for IIED to illustrate its work via web and print media. During the course of the internship, I worked closely with the publications manager, Rosalind Portman, and the web content manager, Suzanne Fisher, both of whom offered me continual support and made me feel welcome at IIED. 

The “meat and potatoes” of the work I did as the photo research intern was comprised of systematically reviewing, rating, categorising, and cataloguing the existing photographs taken by IIED researchers and staff. With several thousand digital photographs in the IIED system, this was no small task, but with the help of the Communications team and several others from different departments across the institute, I was able to build an image library that is continually being drawn on and added to by several staff members.

Through my internship experience at IIED I developed technical and organisational, as well as interpersonal skills. Being a member of the Communications teams, coming into the office every day, and working with a diverse team of people with different areas of expertise, were among the most beneficial aspects of the internship. 

Being given the opportunity to interact daily with researchers and other staff at an internationally well-regarded research institute has been a great help in guiding me in my career objectives. Through the internship and subsequent consulting work with the Institute, I have been granted access to a wealth of knowledge and experience and to a community of dedicated, talented individuals who have enriched my experience and added to my ongoing professional development. I am sincerely grateful to IIED and to all those members of staff I have worked with and learned from.

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