Environmental Planning and Coordination Organisation (EPCO), Department of Environment, Government of Madhya Pradesh
I spent my second co-op term this winter as an intern at the State Knowledge Management Centre on Climate Change (SKMCCC), an organisation within the Environmental Planning and Coordination Organisation (EPCO), Department of Environment, Government of Madhya Pradesh, Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India.
I was fortunate to be part of a team that was very encouraging and patient, and was willing to guide me and provide me with constructive feedback, helping me grow both personally and professionally. My tasks and responsibilities included carrying out a small scale research project and the topic of my research concentrated on how Hindu philosophy and local traditions help build a healthy and string connect with nature. The research also addressed peripheral aspects such as possible reasons for diminishing human-nature connect, lack of understanding of local traditions, and the potential of these traditions as a tool to promote resilience for climate change.
Simultaneously, I also assisted in the planning and organization of two major events, the National Seminar on Climate Change and the Certificate Course on Climate Change, both organized my SKMCCC. Tasks pertaining to both events included recording, managing and documenting participant database, communication with participants and delegates, proofreading and editing, and session planning and background study for course material and group activities.
I developed a skill set that ranged from adapting to different workplace environments and functioning, in this case, a government setting (working within protocol and bureaucratic guidelines), to maintaining a healthy work-life balance. Moreover, by working very close to grassroots level, I also had the opportunity to interact and learn about local issues, people and their place in a larger global system – many of which I was blind to despite having been born and brought up in the same country. This work term at SKMCCC has not only given me an uplifting experience, but also, lasting friendships.
I came to UBC with absolutely no work experience whatsoever. The UBC Forestry Co-op Program has played a major role in helping me become confident, teachable and thoroughly equipped for stepping into a professional environment and in making most of my undergraduate experience at UBC.