Dancho Yakimov (Bulgaria)
Internship at Operation Black Vote
London, United Kingdom (June 25 - August 31, 2018)
- Managing the website of the organization: editing and uploading articles. Additionally, I contributed to the visibility of the organization in social media through my active engagement in publishing articles/ opinion letters/ statements and op-eds in social media such as Facebook and Twitter;
- Weekly contribution to the website's newsfeed by producing my own articles and opinion statements;
- Data collection on political participation and representation of Black Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) groups in England;
- General administrative work - including organizing events, serving as a contact point from the organization in relation to its shadowing portfolio -answering phone calls, sending e-mails. I was also responsible for the outreach activities in relation to the shadowing portfolio - conducting phone calls, organizing online platforms for sharing information, creating polls and questionnaires;
- Shadowing the Director and the Deputy Director - provision of technical assistance for meetings and events outside the office and at the place of work. Drafting discussion notes and meeting minutes. Responsible for networking promoting the activities of the organization.
What did you learn?
- I learned how to manage my time in a more efficient way. I learned to operate organizational tasks in a timely manner;
- I improved my skills in research, data interpretation, and presentation;
- I got to know more about the political engagement of minorities in the UK. Additionally, I had the opportunity to observe the advocacy activities of the Director or the organization - this helped me to understand that policymaking and lobbying can also be pursued outside the realm of governmental authorities and structures;
- I learned how to draft articles - style, expression, and terminology. This helped me to reach a wide and diverse audience which is not familiar with the topic of my work.
Leadership skills gained:
Organizing, strategic thinking, project management, action planning, facilitation and delegation, effective communication.
The internship at ERIAC advances my carrier by furthering my knowledge, experience, networking. Therefore, my plans are to continue working in Roma minority-related organizations promoting Roma Arts and Culture, rights and policy provisions.