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Life as an Impact Intern

When it comes to recruitment, Impact look for individuals who have more than just the required skill set – we look for people who can add value to our unique culture. We believe that personality and outlook can be even more important than formal qualifications - skills can be learned, but values are part of the individual.
This blog post is by one of our current interns - James Boyd - who describes his time at Impact...

Impactful Experience

How do I attempt to convey a note-worthy articulation of such a positive chapter in my life so far that really reflects my sense of gratitude for Impact International? I suspect, in order to properly set the tone, I would have to say that working for Impact is far from the realms of normality. In fact, it isn’t just a job; it’s a lifestyle.
Most people arriving at Impact on their first day probably don’t have a clue of what to expect. I came here having studied and navigated a fascinating yet labyrinth-like website, finally coming to the conclusion that I still didn’t know what working for Impact actually entailed. Buzzwords like ‘leadership development’ and ‘organisational management’ had me hooked, yet I could not really say why.
Re-calling experiences from my first few weeks is difficult. You learn names, take on a basic understanding of the Impact world and begin mining for nuggets of really useful information. On a personal note, I discovered that in order to grasp a concept as deep and complex as Impact’s purpose, you must completely immerse yourself from notion to practicality. Impact, simply put, exists to promote, endorse and consolidate sustainability into a largely unsustainable world.
If I was to highlight a particularly great experience during my internship, the four day ‘Internal/Infernal/Eternal’ program is right up there. Going into the week, the group was told very little about what to expect, only that it would be exhilarating, powerful, emotional and shattering. Being the ever-so slightly arrogant LAD that I am, my first reaction was to take all that with a pinch of salt. Our group ‘en-passant’ feedback session still strikes me, to this day as one of my most valuable learning experiences. Trying to convey an accurate account is difficult but imagine sitting in a room with nine peers, all of whom have spent 24/7 with you for four straight days, critically analysing you as a person, to the deepest levels imaginable. Rules for the session stipulate that you cannot talk, look at or use body language while it is your turn, meaning you are denied any defense against negativity. It forces you to look at yourself and take stock of who you really are. If somebody was to ask me now, ‘Who is James Boyd?’, I would certainly be able to respond much more honestly and openly than before the programme.
My appreciation for Impact stretches much further than many would probably understand. Working here has helped take one of my life-long dreams and turn it into reality. Before cringing at such a cliché and rather fluffy sentiment, let me explain why. Long before even applying to work at Impact, I had visions of one day being accepted into the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst to become an Army Officer. I thought I had all the potential. They say an Army Officer possesses six key components: Leadership capability, Courage (both moral and physical), Loyalty, Knowledge, Diligence and Discipline. I have been a Rugby captain, a football captain, an Army cadet and my father was ex-military. Surely I had a solid background. Surely I could not fail. The first thing to mention then is that I scraped through both initial Army Officer interviews and preliminary briefing. Feedback showed that I passed based on physical robustness, yet the Board believed I was unlikely to progress through further stages. One week after receiving that feedback, I started my internship with Impact. Every single person I met possessed un-paralleled fortitude and character. I knew straight away that Impact employees were the type that I needed to emulate. Every project I was given required me to ‘jump into the deep end’, talk to people, learn, create an environment to personally develop and above all else, strengthen my core confidence. I spent weeks studying Impact’s leadership proposition, attempting to grasp the intention, rationale, framework and it’s evolution. There are an abundance of similarities and correlations in comparison with Military Leadership. I simply cannot stress enough the degree to which Impact positively influenced my chances of passing the board. Needless to say, I managed to smash the final briefings and main assessment OUT OF THE PARK. The feedback highlighted a “drastic improvement in understanding of the requirements to become an officer, conveyed consistently and prominently during highly pressured situations.” I was also delighted to hear that the Army Officer Selection Board was impressed with my ‘strength of character’ and ‘genuine motivation to become an Officer’.
To wrap up, I would like to thank everyone at Impact for everything you have given me. I truly hope as an organisation, you retain such a marvelous, unique culture and continue to promote sustainability and personal development at a global level. The world needs an Impactful experience.

James Boyd

Does your organisation work with interns? Have you been on an internship yourself? We'd love to hear about your experiences - please leave comments below.