Eoghan Flanagan was an intern at ARTD from July to November 2022. Whilst juggling the final undergraduate year of his BA in International Relations, and a role in IT in radiology, Eoghan has been a great support to our project teams as well as our operations teams. In this blog he tells us a bit about his internship experience and what he’s learned.
Tell us how you came to be an intern at ARTD?
As part of my degree, I was offered a chance to do a vocational placement anywhere that did intercultural or international work. When I came across ARTD I thought it would be a great firm to intern at because of how much work ARTD does with First Nations peoples and NGOs. I got in contact with Sarah, ARTD’s Operations Manager, and that’s how it came to be.
What was it like working at ARTD?
Working at ARTD has been a fairly different experience for me. It’s the first time I’ve worked somewhere that really seems to put effort into its office culture. The staff lunches, learning sessions, retreats (still annoyed I was sick for that one) and regular catchups were a bit of a shock at first. However, I have come to see how valuable they are. It really creates a uniquely inclusive work environment that I haven’t seen anywhere else.
Was there anything that surprised you about the work we do?
I was surprised about the amount of qualitative work done at ARTD, especially when it came to interviews and case studies. My assumption when I started was that policy evaluation would be a numbers heavy field. At ARTD I’ve seen how much time is spent interviewing people involved at all levels of a policy and really bringing those voices into the final report. Looking back to when I started, I would say that has been the biggest surprise.
What was the most valuable lesson you’ll take from your time at ARTD?
The most valuable thing I’ve learnt is that policy is never an abstract, theoretical thing. It’s important to always remember that policy affects people and there’s never one answer to solve a problem. I suppose that sounds really obvious, but it’s become very clear to me that keeping sight of the real-world consequences of policy should always come before theoretical considerations.
Its been a real pleasure having Eoghan work with us as an intern. We’re always grateful to have new and diverse perspectives as part of our project teams. If you’re a final year student in political science, philosophy, social science or psychology and exploring your internship of 2023, please contact Sarah Schofield to discuss.