Intern: Sydney Bisau Ngiraidong
Supervisor: Gaafar Uherbelau
Palau Fellowship Award Internship Report
Palau National Scholarship Board
First and foremost, I would like to show my utmost appreciation to Palau National Scholarship Board. With their efforts and hard work, we are very fortunate to be given this opportunity to expand our knowledge and experience in the workforce area. As my internship is coming to an end, I would like to share my experience. I chose to work with Mr. Gaafar Uherbelau in the Health Policy, Research, and Development Office for my internship site. I had graduated from Tamkang University in New Taipei, Taiwan obtaining my bachelor’s degree in Diplomacy and International Relations. With that as my major in college and my choice in internship site, I was asked many times why I chose to work in a field where I had little to no experience. My answer was always, “We are fighting a pandemic, and in any way I can, I want to lend a helping hand.” In addition to that, I wanted to broaden my knowledge in this field because it is a vital component of a country’s development.
A country’s health is critical to its development. Diplomacy and international relations are concerned with all elements of a country’s existence. I believe that in order to be successful in my major, I need to gain as much experience as possible in a variety of fields. While applying for this Palau Fellowship Award, I believe that with what I’ve learned over the last five years, I’ll be a valuable asset to the HPRD office.
The last two months have been a great learning experience. I would say the most rewarding experience I had was watching and participating in the work that goes into the immunization procedure. I was able to attend the meetings and also assist with the entry of patient data, observation assistance, and patient registration. Being a part of the team that addresses COVID-19, the EOC (Emergency Operations Center) was another wonderful experience. Within the two months, I would say I learned a great deal. The ability to undergo some hands-on activities, as well as attend meetings and watch the operations of the Ministry of Health and Human Services and their external partners, has made me very happy, especially in accomplishing my goal of expanding my experience in a variety of fields. The environment had a significant impact on my experience. My supervisor, as well as his staff and the rest of the Ministry of Health and Human Services employees, were more than welcoming and were very helpful when they saw I was struggling. I must admit that my biggest struggle was learning how to deal with unexpected changes or situations. The planning aspect was one of the most challenging areas of the Ministry of Health and Human Services. There are many different aspects that we had to include when planning. There were times when it took a couple of hours, but there were also times when it took a couple of days. Shifting my priorities was not much of a challenge, however, there were times when I had to completely stop some of my assignments, or I would not be able to attend meetings to be able to focus on other assignments. Overall, this was a great learning experience and I am thankful that I was given the opportunity to participate in PNSB’s internship program.