RMF Pakistan successfully completes Summer Internship Program

October 3, 2013

Dr. Rubina Mumtaz and Mr. Abdullah Nasar

RMF launched a three-month paid Summer Internship Program from 1st July to 30th September for young students as a skills development opportunity for the youth of Pakistan. The key objectives of the Internship Program were:

  • To develop skills and techniques in the application of theory to practical work situations
  • To provide students the opportunity to test their aptitude for a career in the development arena before permanent commitments are made
  • To aid students in adjusting from college to full-time employment
  • To provide students the opportunity to develop attitudes conducive to effective interpersonal relationships
  • To increase a student's sense of responsibility

Photo: L to R Standing: Rehan Shah, Bushra Ali, Uzma , Dr Rubina Mumtaz, Fauzia Hussain, Sobia Nisar, Abdullah Nasar, Mushtaq Ahmed. From left to right sitting: Umbreen Akhtar, Shezadi and Irum

A large number of students applied and all were given the opportunity to appear for an entry test that was based on a complete command over written Urdu and English languages and an ability to complete a report within a stipulated time. Four top candidates were selected, given their contracts and initiated into the program with a 1-day training by the Research Projects Coordinator, Ms Afshan Bhatti. The training included first an introduction to the research study funded by RAF, conducted by the University of Alberta and implemented on ground by Real Medicine Foundation. The candidates were familiarized with the transcription process of research data from the local languages of Urdu and Potwari into English but with a definite stress on keeping the data verbatim and to be inclusive of usage of colloquial terms that cannot be effectively translated. These terms were shared with the candidates as an on-going process depending on their data type and category. Descriptions of medical procedures related to ante-natal, delivery and post-natal procedures were also shared in the same on-going process.

The candidates were supervised on a daily basis by our research associates, Bushra Ali and Ms Haleema. Outputs by interns were collected on a weekly basis and subjected to the first screening for quality by Abdullah Nasar and a final review by Afshan Bhatti before giving the clear signal. Stringent measures to ensure quality were the real test for the candidates most of whom were challenged within their first week. All the candidates happily passed the bar mark within the first month of the internship and at the end of the internship, they had achieved 95% of the targets allocated to them. The RAF data processing stage was successfully achieved and facilitated the way to the writing up stage that is currently in the draft stage and being shared with the funders.

Our interns were:

  • Irum Zara:  A fresh graduate with Bachelorsin Commerce from Punjab University and a Diploma in Human Resource Management, Zara’s first professional experience was as an intern in Summit Bank Ltd. She then tried a hand in Event Management and Decorations but since she loves to write, she took up the RMF internship as this entailed a whole lot of writing.
  • Umbreen Akhtar: This Psychology graduate has a passion for people in need and took up the RMF internship to be part of a team that strives for the betterment of the vulnerable and marginalized. First hand exposure to raw data from the field gave her the fuel to consider a career in qualitative research.
  • Rehan Shah: This young man, alum of University of Southern Queensland, Australia recently returned home rejecting the chance of a career in Australia since his passion lies in doing something for his country. The RMF stint gave him a glimpse of the academic nature of development work in Pakistan.
  • Shezadi: Another foreign qualified returnee, a graduate of Management and Supervision from a city college in San Francisco, she is currently a student of Masters of Public Adminstration in Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad.