Meet the interns | Hannah Caswell

30 June 2014 | ResolutionPossible

We’re back with the fourth entry for our ‘Meet the interns’ series in which our interns and alumni get to write about their own work experience and education, as well as their time with Resolution:Possible. We have been very fortunate to have people from all sorts of backgrounds working with us, and we wanted to share with you this great variety. We also hope that these blogs may inspire you to follow your own dreams (read the first three blogs from Becky, Harriet and Eric here).

Hannah Caswell joined Resolution:Possible in September 2013. She has worked on consolidating our current website content, as well as the armed conflict and DRC series and now she is bringing you blogs from our current interns and alumni, as part of our ‘Meet Resolution:Possible series’. Throughout her internship with Resolution:Possible Hannah has completed other internships and is currently based at One to One Children’s Fund where she is continuing to develop experience and skills relevant to a career in international development.

My love of everything African started as soon as I flew into Windhoek Airport in Namibia, ready for my adventure at Harnas Wildlife Foundation. The sky was bright blue, it was warm despite being their winter and I had 3 months ahead of me of animals, children and sand dune adventures.

Me with Zion, the second youngest lion at the Foundation

My time at the Foundation was amazing, feeding, walking and looking after animals you never dream of getting close to…lions and cheetahs alike. I even helped start up a little school for the San Tribe children that lived and worked for the Foundation. It all opened my eyes to different cultures and an entirely different way of life, ‘Africa time’ as the locals explained it. I travelled around Namibia for a couple of weeks after over two months at the Foundation, continuing to experience vivid landscapes, cultures, traditions and personalities and dreaded the day my flight came and I had to leave. Many people say that you leave a little bit of your heart in Africa and for me that was entirely true, the whole experience stayed with me and I was sad to leave the beautiful continent.

Up close and personal with one of the many cheetahs

Throughout my undergraduate study, I always wanted to get back out to Africa but time never permitted it and I graduated with a Law degree from the University of Warwick, but Africa and my desire to get back there never left. I missed the academic lifestyle after graduating (weird I know!), which led me to complete my MA in International Relations but of course, with my interest in Africa still not abating, I tailored everything I could within this course to reflect that interest and learn more about the continent. I studied issues of civil war, conflict management, state failure and peacebuilding, amongst many others, always in African countries, South Sudan, Liberia, Burundi, Rwanda for example, and eventually graduated with a Distinction, much to my surprise.

I always had an interest in working in the charity sector, since my volunteering at the Foundation in Namibia and different volunteering experiences at Warwick, and all of my study and continued focus on Africa reaffirmed this and more specifically, my desire to work in international development. However, as pretty much everyone knows, the international development sector is a very hard nut to crack and I began thinking about ways to build on my MA and get some extra experience and skills that would be relevant to a possible career and that’s where Resolution:Possible came in.

The guys took me in as a new post-graduate, unsure of exactly what career I wanted but just adamant that it had to be in international development. They gave me my first internship and were willing to let me do whatever took my fancy for ResPoss to help out and help build the social enterprise. I researched and wrote blogs for the armed conflict and DRC series, helped consolidate all of the previous website content and have been the one bringing you the ‘Meet the interns’ series. I have learnt so much through working with the team, communication skills and website skills for example, and made some incredible relationships. I owe a gratitude of thanks to ResPoss; my time with them, I believe, helped set in motion the wheels for me to end up working with my other internships and now One to One Children’s Fund and ultimately developing even more skills and experience for a career in international development.

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