I had the privilege of having a delightful conversation with our exceptional intern, Lauren, during which I inquired about her motivation for joining The Hunger Project. She eloquently expressed that her core values resonated deeply with The Hunger Project’s mission, igniting her desire to become part of this charitable endeavour. Lauren, at the age of 22, had recently completed her master’s degree in clinical psychology. She fervently advocates for equality across various facets of life, be it gender parity, food security, addressing period poverty, or bolstering resilience to disasters. She dedicates her time and resources tirelessly to initiatives that level the playing field for all.

During her time as a student, Lauren gained valuable experience by actively participating in numerous student fundraising and volunteer roles, such as Southampton RAG, her university’s core charity society. She discovered a profound love for fundraising, finding fulfilment in every aspect, from event planning and execution to engaging with fellow students and even handling administrative tasks. Lauren discovered the internship opportunity through her university’s career services. She was actively seeking a role that would enable her to gain experience within a smaller charity organisation. Her specific interest in The Hunger Project UK stemmed from its focus on empowering women and its approach to nurturing local talents and leadership within communities.

One of the primary sources of inspiration for Lauren was The Hunger Project’s unwavering commitment to sustainable change at the grassroots level. She admired the approach, focusing on providing a “hand-up” rather than a “hand-out.” Lauren noticed that many international development initiatives often fail to involve the communities they aim to serve, but with The Hunger Project, she found their engagement with these communities to be exceptionally generous. This was a pivotal reason she was eager to contribute.

Throughout her tenure at The Hunger Project, Lauren had the opportunity to engage in a wide range of tasks, providing her with valuable insights into the multifaceted operations of charitable organisations. Her responsibilities included researching grants, writing grant proposals, establishing, and maintaining relationships with event partners, strengthening corporate partnerships, and identifying potential supporters and volunteers. Her most cherished project was her involvement in the launch of “Unleashed Women 20 to 30” in August, where she connected with like-minded women of her age who shared a passion for ending world hunger through female empowerment.

When I asked Lauren about her most significant takeaways from the internship, she reflected on how she had grown as an individual, recognising her strengths and areas she wished to develop in the future. The internship had underscored the importance of working in an environment that encouraged seeking assistance and fostering collaborative efforts.

Looking ahead, Lauren aspires to launch her career in the UK’s charity sector. Her time interning with The Hunger Project has solidified this aspiration, equipping her with valuable skills for future job interviews. It has also helped her crystallise the values she seeks in an employer and company, emphasising the significance of working within a communicative and supportive team. She ardently hopes to continue supporting The Hunger Project UK in its future endeavours.