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Mahnoor’s Placement Reflection

Hi everyone, my name is Mahnoor and I study Medical Physiology at King’s College London. During my recent internship alongside Aryaa at Eastside through the Civic Leadership Academy organised by KCL, I had the opportunity to gain valuable insights and experience in this organisation. Reflecting on this placement, I realise how much I have learned and grown both personally and professionally.


When starting the internship, I was apprehensive and thought that the environment might be intimidating and that I might end up sitting bored in the office with not much work but luckily Kate, my manager, was incredibly kind and made sure we always felt like a part of the team. Her welcoming and positive attitude made me feel comfortable right from the start.


The rest of the Eastside team was equally welcoming and supportive. They ensured we were not feeling overwhelmed or overworked and that we were having a break (thanks to Rosemary for that!). They also assigned us engaging tasks, such as researching grants, which provided an invaluable insight into the inner workings of a charity. This research not only expanded my knowledge of fundraising but also highlighted the importance of grant writing in sustaining charitable initiatives. We also had a pleasure working on the anthology and reading all the wonderful poems written by the students. Collating the anthology was not just a mere task- it allowed us to see ideas come together to be the part of a wider initiative.


Our tasks varied, ranging from administrative duties to communications. One of the most enjoyable aspects was managing Eastside’s social media. Crafting posts and engaging with the online community was both fun and educational, enhancing my skills in digital communication. Additionally, I had the chance to edit the organisation’s website, a task that introduced me to new digital tools and web editing techniques.


A particularly enjoyable task was calling schools about the Spoken Word Power programme for the upcoming year. Initially, this was daunting, but after reassurance and help from Rosemary and Fliss, who were supervising us, it turned out to be a fantastic experience. These interactions significantly boosted my confidence in speaking and provided a deeper understanding of the importance of outreach and communication in charitable work.


The highlight of my placement was the Artists in Residence trip to North Primary School. Hearing the enthusiasm and excitement of the workshop by the students and then witnessing the children’s creativity and comfort with animation was truly inspiring. It was incredible to see Eastside’s mission in action, fostering creativity and engagement in young students. 


My perception of Eastside has profoundly changed through this internship. Initially, I believed their primary goal was to integrate more creativity and poetry into schools. However, I now understand that their mission is much broader. Eastside is dedicated to developing a better youth with enhanced public speaking abilities, fostering critical thinking, and ultimately enriching the educational experience for students.


To conclude, my internship at Eastside was an incredible eye-opening experience. It not only allowed me to develop new skills and gain practical experience but also provided a deeper appreciation for the impactful work done by charitable organisations. I am grateful for the support and opportunities provided by the entire Eastside team, and I look forward to applying what I have learned in my future endeavours and who knows I might end up working here in the future.

Working towards a future in which all young people’s creativity is nurtured and celebrated