18 • Transformation Through Training • Issue No: 11 • November 2018 At the beginning of 2017, Joint Force Training Centre opened the application round for next edition of the Young Professionals Program. Within documentation prepared in advance and with great expectations, I applied. I wanted to join NATO and to check out what the work in such an institution was like, since I had already had some knowledge and information about JFTC’s challenges. Why apply for YPP? To apply for the internship, the intern must be a student or a person who recently obtained the degree. As a law student, I thought that would be an opportunity to practice my English skills at a higher level as well as to improve my organization skills. It was also a chance to get in touch with international environment, in which I would like to work during my legal carrier. Program objectives “The Program focuses on providing the Organization with access to the latest theoretical and technical knowledge, that the intern can apply through practical work assignments, as well as with additional staff resources, to provide intern with an opportunity to learn from the NATO community and get a better understanding and a more balanced view of the Organization, to contribute to creating a more diverse workforce and to expand understanding of NATO in Alliance countries1 .” JFTC’s Young Professionals Program is a part of the NATO Internship Programme. While working in Bydgoszcz, even though far away from NATO Headquarters, I felt, that I was still a part of one, big NATO. Tasks of an intern JFTC offers an internship in one of its divisions. I worked for three months in the Protocol and Conference Support Office. I had a wide range of tasks to fulfill, and my work mostly focused on planning, preparation and execution of events organized at JFTC. I escorted visitors and dignitaries on their arrival and accompanied them through various phases of their visits. My duty was to assist in creating schedules of events – including such aspects as accommodation, transportation or catering. I had a chance to prepare and to attend coordination meetings as well as to maintain a database. For me it was really important that I got complex and responsible tasks to fulfill. Since the beginning of my internship, I could check myself in new roles and situations. Benefits from YPP Not only does an internship in such a well-known international organization as NATO mean hard work, but also great satisfaction, especially when a given responsibility is fulfilled successfully. Fulfilling the above mentioned tasks, gave me also an opportunity to train the so called soft skills. When an event at JFTC was ongoing, there was not much time left to train an intern step by step. Thanks to this, from the very beginning I could learn how to be an independent employee. Independence is strictly connected with responsibility. I had to take the responsibility for my actions which taught me to be professional and to obtain the highest level of work performance, because in my position, no matter if I do an internship or a full-time work, I represent NATO. While being a part of JFTC, I also learned to work under the pressure of time and to be creative, as well as resistant to stress, when it comes to solve immediately upcoming and unexpected challenges. Sandra Kowalska, Intern at JFTC Protocol and Conference Support Office during Young Professionals Program (YPP) 2017 ■ Review Review Internship at JFTC