- Last Updated: Monday, 27 June 2016 20:53
Thinking of Volunteering?
EcoKnights is always receptive to interested individuals who would like to contribute their time and efforts for a satisfying cause.
From time to time, when we conduct events for the communities, your extra hands would mean a lot.
Apart from the “feel good” factor, each volunteer will receive a certification of participation as a way of acknowledging your assistance and time spent.
Starting an Internship with us?
EcoKnights continuously looks for avenues to assist in building the capacity of communities especially college and university students.
Environmental encompasses a broad spectrum of skills and knowledge.
So even if you don’t know much about Mother Nature, your skills can still be readily applied in many ways.
For more on our internship programmes, please email us a cover letter and your current resume at email@example.com
Here's what our interns say...
Le Mai Lan (Vietnam), 19
“Hi, I’m Mai Lan, and I am currently an assurance associated at PricewaterhouseCoopers Vietnam Ltd.
I was working as a Project Intern for EcoKnights from July to September 2011. By having chance to meet up and work with excellent, inspiring and very open-minded colleagues in various occasions and events including Eco Film Fest 2011 and the Anugerah Hijau Competition 2011, I am proved that EcoKnights has undoubtedly helped me to sharpen my soft skills of communication or project management as well as cultivate me to be a more confident, responsive and responsible individual.
Thank-you to the great experience that you have offered me. I have always been and will always be proud of being one of the Knights there in our organization!”
Aizuura Dzhumataeva (Kyrgyztan), 20
Aizuura Dzhumataeva hails from Kyrgyzstan. She is 20 and is currently studying Financial Management at the Kyrgyz-Russian Slavic University University.
“In time of globalization and integration we should unite our efforts to solve it. I want to learn more about culture of Malaysia, to exchange experience and to meet new friends. I like to try something new, to open unusual things for me. I hope I can contribute a lot to improve the work of our organization,” said Aizuura.
For Aizuura, or “Ice” as she is more affectionately known, is currently assisting the programme managers in the organizational issues related to EcoKnights’ two flagship education-based programmes, Anugerah Hijau and the Eco Film Fest.
Voon Su Yin (Malaysia), 22
Hi, I’m Su and I am currently enrolled in a Mandarin Program in Beijing Language and Culture University in Beijing.
During my time interning at EcoKnights I was involved in the planning and communications of a few annual EcoKnights events such as the Anugerah Hijau Sustainable Youth Competition and the Kuala Lumpur Eco Film Festival. My whole experience at EcoKnights has been an unforgettable one. Besides meeting a passionate group of people that I have learned a lot from, I was also continually challenged by the tasks that were delegated to me. Interning at EcoKnights was also a joy as I got to volunteer at different events that deepened my knowledge on local environmental issues and on the organizations and people in this sector. I would definitely recommend people to intern at EcoKnights if they're looking for a challenging yet fun time.
- Name: Voon Su Yin
- Nationality: Malaysian
- City of Residence: Malaysia
- Field/course of study: Commerce (Marketing & Economics)
- Duration of internship: 4 months; From June 2013 to September 2013
Lee Shean-Woei (Malaysia), 21
Thank you all so much for taking me in as an intern here at EK. Despite short the time I spent here, I learnt a lot. I can honestly say that I think I have managed to pick up enough of what I intended to learn when I applied for my internship here. The skills I picked up here is imperative in life, for me to become a more competent person, dental student and future healthcare professional. As I do not intend to become just a dentist who treats the patients who walks through my doors, I wish to be able to do more, and my internship here at EcoKnights is just the stepping stone for me.
- Name: Lee Shean-Woei (known as Shean by EcoKnighters)
- Nationality: Malaysian
- City of Residence: Petaling Jaya
- Current Education Background: 2nd year Bachelor Of Dentistry (BDS)
- Field/course of study: Dentistry
- Duration of internship: 1 month. From 16/6/14 – 11/7/2014
Shashidharan N Subramaniam (Malaysia), 25
- Name: Shashidharan N Subramaniam
- Nationality: Malaysian
- Duration of internship: _7_ month(s). From July 2013 to October 2013 and from March 2014 to May 2014
Jolene Tan (Malaysia), 23
- Name: Jolene Tan (Mei Peng)
- Nationality: Malaysian
- City of Residence: Klang Valley
- Field/course of study: Bsc (Hons) Environmental Science
- Duration of internship: 3 ½ month(s). From June 2014 to Sept 15th 2014
General Reflection on the Internship
- Where did you hear about EcoKnights/MENGO and our internship program?
I was desperately looking for an internship during my summer break. It was not required by my university but I feel the need to have some working experience. Thus, I scrolled through the internet and here I found it!
- Why did you choose to work for an NGO?
I wanted to learn how an organization functions. Working for an NGO(s) gave me the opportunity to multitask, liaise with different stakeholder(s), from general public, government to private sector(s). It was a new experience for me as I have a very different working experience(s) from the past.
- Among all the NGO(s) in Malaysia, why EcoKnights/MENGO?
- I chose Ecoknights, because what they do are close to my personal values. “Inspiring sustainable living” and this is also to motivate myself to keep track on the field I had chosen. My studies and participation in Miss Malaysia Earth (3rd runner up) has helped me but I need more experiences thus, Ecoknights.
- Yasmin is an inspiration to me, she is eloquent, kind, brilliant, quick-minded and most importantly, she has a genuine heart to engage with the public to raise environmental awareness and promote sustainable living. She is passionate with what she does.
- I was looking for an environmental NGO that has the opportunities to learn to engage with different stakeholder(s) to resolve different environmental issues. Being able to follow Yasmin to meet different stakeholders and see how they resolve several environmental issues that were being brought up was rewarding. Everyone voiced out different strategies to resolve the issue over the table and from table to the fieldwork.
- I love to work with people who came from different backgrounds and nationalities.
- What are some of your day-to-day roles/responsibilities? Briefly explain your job description and your role in this internship. Complete them in point forms.
Oh wow, I was holding a position known as “Presidential Intern”. It sounds fancy, but there are a lot of tasks you are required to do and multitask. Mostly I am working closely with Yasmin (the Executive Director of Ecoknights),
- helping her on completing her daily tasks,
- Helping her to develop ideas and apply them (such as constructing different interview questions to the potential environmentalists and filmmakers.)
- I have to learn to construct presentation for (Miss Malaysia Earth sharing session) – shared by Yasmin, which is a platform for me to learn what is relevant to be presented, relevant materials to put into power-point and how to present it effectively.
- Helping to mail mass emails 445 letters to universities in Malaysia to invite students to attend KLEFF screenings and mail 200+ VIPs letters (Yasmin’s list)
- Helping Yasmin, Fadly and Andrew to gather relevant information(s) for their presentations.
- Learning to write proposal. (Something that I still need to refine on as it requires critical and creative thinking).
- Attend meetings with Yasmin, to understand how different stakeholders decide on dealing with several environmental issues.
- Work in weekend for some fundraising, tree-planting, public engagement activities and AH workshops. Help out in fairs.
- Key in Database. Just filing. Liaise with AH Finalists on Camera Renting.
- Organizing Preloved Items Sale for KLEFF with Amy
- What are your goals and objectives in this internship? Were they met and how so? Offer specific examples.
- I hope to learn how an organization runs especially an environmental NGO run by people from various backgrounds, skills and nationalities. This is an organization run by 7 official staff and a few interns. Everyone has their own roles from finance, IT, fundraising / media, project manager, communication officer, etc, chairman (Yasmin). I enjoyed having WIP (weekly meeting) that everyone has to gather and discuss what everyone is up and company goals that has to be achieved in daily, weekly, timely manner. Vision and mission are being kept tracked as efficient as possible in timely manner. Yasmin is the main chairman, she has to oversee everyone’s tasks, and she is efficient in communicating with everyone in the organization. I was a junior in this and still learning to master it.
- Cooperation, communication, less complaints, stay positive, self-reflection, and be responsible with what you do are some keys I have learned about, but this internship has helped me to execute them more effectively.
- I also hope to improve my problem-solving skills from the perspectives of being practical, critical, creative and innovative. I was given a chance to work with Yasmin on constructing an effective presentation caters to the beauty pageant. It is important to understand the crowd and what message is important to be shared that is close to their heart. Learning on how to present the content are crucial. There were many trial and errors as I have to redo all the presentations several times before we agree on the content for presentation but definitely worth to go through.
- What are the biggest challenges you face within your internship? And how did you handle it?
I was sick terribly for the first three weeks. I have high fever on my first day. It causes me to be inefficient and unable to think creatively and be clear-minded on how to complete the tasks. It took me few weeks to construct interview questions. Somehow, one of the ways for me to compensate is to work at home after working hour(s) and try to complete many tasks as I can without troubling others.
- Do you face any communication barrier? Has this internship help you to enhance your communication skills?
Sort of, especially on presenting to the crowd, and convey the ideas in my head to others that are relevant and beneficial to them. Working closely with Yasmin definitely helped me to be able to present to the public more confidently. Express ideas in a much more orderly way too. Learning to be efficient and de-clutter my thoughts.
- Would you recommend future interns to intern in EcoKnights? Why?
Yes, I will! Everyone is different, and will gains different experiences due to different perspectives. We are unique, but definitely, in general we are able to learn to multitask more efficiently, learn to communicate effectively, learn to live more sustainably (learn to compost, make terrarium), dine together, laugh together, and celebrate together as well as home- cleaning together.
Jasreena Ashvin Kaur (Malaysia), 19
- Name: Jasreena Ashvin Kaur
- Nationality: Malaysian
- City of Residence: Puchong, Selangor
- Current Education Background: Bachelor of Science
- Field/course of study: Environmental Science
- Duration of internship: 1 month - From 4/2/2015 to 26/2/2015
Hi Jas, can you tell us a bit about yourself (Where are you studying now, what are you majoring in, your family, etc)
Hello! I'm currently studying at the University of Melbourne in Australia. I'm still in the first year of my degree which is the Bachelor of Science. At the moment I'm planning to major in Environmental Science. I've always been driven to contribute as much as I possibly can towards the conservation of nature and so I plan to have a career which relates to that.
How did you find out about the internship opportunities at EcoKnights?
I was looking around for Environmental NGOs to work with and so I just sent out emails to a couple of them. EcoKnights was one of the few that got back to me!
What are your roles in EcoKnights during your internship? And share some of your experiences with us.
Since I am only able to work with EcoKnights for a month, I was assigned the social media intern position. I wouldn't say it's a walk in the park as it can be tricky looking for articles that would catch people's attention especially the younger generation! It is definitely a fun experience as I learn a lot from reading up various articles daily on not just environmental issues but also some pretty cool fun facts! Did you know a baby giraffe is 1.8m (6ft) tall when just born! I'm turning 20 and still not as tall, well I think many of us aren't :P Other than that, I also did some administrative work such as preparing invitation and sponsorship letters for Anugerah Hijau 2015. Also, I first encountered aquaponics at EcoKnights' office! It was exciting to have the system at the office itself.
What are your advise or messages for future interns?
I feel that whatever position it is you're assign to, just take it with an open mind and be prepared to learn! It would definitely be a great experience and you wouldn't regret it. Everyone at the office are really friendly and would be more than happy to have you on board with them.
Jeanne Lim (Malaysia), 22
- Name: Jeanne Lim
- Nationality: Malaysian
I was lucky enough to participate in a few of corporate events with EcoKnights. For instance, I joined corporate responsibility training workshop at Maybank which was led by Puan Yasmin and gained much knowledge about CR. Corporate sustainability forum opened my eyes too. Besides, I improved my skills to communicate and persuade through helping Alliance to arrange some vendors/workshop facilitators for their CR events and also by observing how Puan Yasmin managed her meetings and discussions with various partners. I brushed up my teamwork skill through working with KDU student volunteers to design checkpoints’ activities at AVEDA Walk for Water event and organized exhibitions with EK team at Green Market@Publika, Green Carnival@MMU Cyberjaya and SIEPC Carnival@UPM. Last but not least, I contributed partly to coordination and arrangement of upcoming KLEFF workshops.
Amazingly I experienced a number of “first times” with EcoKnights. I experienced my first time leading a film screening and sharing session at Sunway International School. For the first time, I gained my first island experiences for a community project at Pulau Tioman and a youth camp at Pulau Langkawi. First time ever I performed as a solo flute player in front of a small crowd without looking at music score!
No one defined specific roles for me in EcoKnights. I was assigned with a number of tasks from time to time. I understood that working in a small team like EcoKnights, everyone should be dynamic and flexible, which I believe that was where lots of learning opportunities came from. Most of the times, lessons were learnt from failures I made. I was extremely grateful that EcoKnights was generous to give me chances to do, learn and grow. Meeting these awesome Knights at EK-MENGO would be one of the unforgettable memories in my life. I truly like this humane organization.
Here’s what our volunteers say:
Recently in June, 18 year old Samira Olei volunteered for EcoKnights once a week in the office assisting the Program Director with weekly projects in the office. Here’s a summary of Samira’s experience with us.
Upon finishing SPM, life became very free. I had loads of free time on my hands, sometimes a bit too much. Finally one day, somebody told me that an organization called EcoKnights had visited my old school to give a talk on their Anugerah Hijau programme, which at first, I thought I’d take part in. Despite eventually deciding against the initial decision, EcoKnights was now a name no longer unfamiliar to me.
Upon looking up their website, I found that they accepted interns and volunteers, which I thought would be a great stepping stone if I were to ever find myself in an environmental related field, like Environmental Science, which I had given much consideration to. Seeing as EcoKnights fights for an environmental cause, I decided to send in an email, showing my interest in joining their volunteer programme.
I received a reply not long afterwards, explaining that a Skype interview would be required and after a few more emails, a date and time were set. Honestly, I have never been interviewed before so this was definitely something new and very scary. However, I think it went all right.
So it was all set, I’d come into the office Wednesday to Friday, from 3 pm to 6 pm, for a duration of nearly a month, from the 13th of May to the 12th of June.
My first day was definitely nerve wrecking, having never worked before. I was afraid of all sorts of things, with different bad scenarios on replay in my head. However, upon entering the office space and meeting other interns, those thoughts were immediately replaced by how welcomed I felt. Everybody I met was nice and treated me with respect, which I very much appreciated.
I did not have a specific job scope but instead was given tasks. I had to look for articles for the Facebook page on my first day, fill information into the database, shop for supplies for an upcoming camp and I even got to become a facilitator for a camp.
I think the camp would have to be the most unforgettable experience for me. Being amongst children, helping them and even running my own session was a truly rewarding experience. Something I would never trade for anything else. In the beginning, after finding out that I had to conduct my own session, I was scared, just plain scared. However, upon seeing the other interns breeze through their own presentations and show nothing but confidence, I guess one could say I was inspired. After all, don’t we learn from those around us?
All in all, despite not having been with EcoKnights for a long time, I do feel like I’ve learnt a lot that will definitely help me with life. I’m even proud of telling others that I was with EcoKnights for a while. Hopefully someday in the future, I’ll complete an internship programme with EcoKnights.
Hello world! My name is Shi Min. I’m studying degree of Biotechnology in Malaysia University of Science and Technology (MUST) in Kelana Jaya, Selangor have joined EcoKnights in September. I have learnt about EcoKnights from two course seniors who previously worked as intern with this Environmental NGO.
Before I joined EcoKnights, I used to picture EcoKnights as an NGO which usually runs smaller activities in a small community. As I joined EcoKnights, I found it is entirely different than my previous thought. Kuala Lumpur Eco Film Fest was my first task which I was assigned to work alongside with senior interns. With no previous working experience, I felt challenged as I was given tasks outside of my comfort zone, especially when communication is involved, as communication skill is my biggest weakness. I was in total perplexed state when I picked up an office call for the first time, and was totally nervous to begin a conversation with someone new. However with encouragement from my supervisors, fellow seniors and colleagues, I learnt to overcome fears and is able to approach the others and communicate in a more efficient way.
Apart from that I used to be a lone worker until I started my internship in EcoKnights, where teamwork is compulsory and essential to create synergy, overcome all kind of obstacles and reach our common aim-- to make our event better than past years.
After some experience with event planning, I have realized the importance of communication and networking in an industry. There is no way that an organisation can be formed without good communication and network. Besides, I also learnt that good things does not come easily, like the infamous Chinese proverb, “Three minutes glory on stage, ten years hard work off the stage”, all the necessary procedures to initiate an event, from data collection to event execution require a lot of hard works, teamwork and patience to be done. This realization teaches me to appreciate activities and events out there instead of giving criticisms. Aside of learning new skills and such, I have found that I understood myself better than before. From each of the projects I have worked on, I have gradually identified my strength, weakness and where my passion lies. Although at times the workload could be overwhelming to tackle, but the results we obtained in return are certainly worth the hardships.
In fact there are obstacles for myself to be an intern here as the job scope does not match my academic background and requirement, but I’m really, really glad that I have made my own bold decision and have chosen the right place, regardless it is just my luck or God’s will, that I have learnt to overcome my greatest weakness (es) and open up myself, to trust and of course to widen up my narrow circle. Like a famous quote, give a man fish you feed him a day, teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime, instead of be given of what I wanted, I have been taught to chase after my dreams and make it a reality. I couldn’t express my gratefulness to all members in EcoKnights, especially Yasmin, the founder of EcoKnights and my on-site supervisor, Fadly, who have been guiding me throughout my internship duration with a lot of patience and concern. Lastly, keep it up guys, best wishes for EcoKnights and will see you again in KLEFF 2016!
Wang Jian WenWAZZZUPPPPPP. My name is Wang Jian Wen, a degree student from UCSI University. I am currently on my second year in pursuing a degree in Mass Communication.
It was actually pretty unexpected for me to have my internship in an NGO like EcoKnights but I am glad that I made that move. Before this, I was repeatedly rejected by cooperate companies because I only have two months to work and they wanted at least three. So EcoKnights was the first NGO I applied and I got a place on the spot. That gave me a good feeling for accepting EcoKnights’ offer.
Well, about the job here, I was assigned to manage EcoKnights’ social media and also to help out on managing events. Yes, I did shed sweat and blood but it was all definitely worth the effort to gather the experience and exposure given to me. In just a month I have already experienced organizing camps for youths, meeting indigenous people, meeting new people, and the list goes on. Almost every week, I would discover something new, whether it is job related or not.
Apart from that, I was treated well by my supervisors and intern mates. Society tends to tell me that in our working lives, no one treats anyone well. But EcoKnights has proven them wrong. We were like family as we work, eat and even sleep together. We had a momentum together to accomplish what is needed and what is required. Therefore, I worked in a stress-free environment where the results are always achieved.
I also do always get this advice on always picking huge cooperate companies for my internship so that I could secure a safe spot for my future career but what is life when you keep thinking about securing your career? Every one of us will dedicate half of our lives to our careers so why worry right now? So whoever who is reading this, I would strongly advice future interns to try being interns in NGOs like EcoKnights if you want to experience and discover something new without having the idea of ‘jobs’ and ‘careers’. It is a win-win situation where you help others and you yourself gain exposure and experience.
Perhaps what I wrote here might sound over exaggerating or I’m just making things up. But that is for you to find out by joining EcoKnights.
I would like to personally thank Yasmin and Fadly, for having me; Mok, Phil and Shi Min for helping me and being great intern mates, Awang, Anna and Ashaari to liven things up in the office and the rest of the Knights which made my internship great as a whole.
Meow Meow, the office mascot was a bonus for me in EcoKnights. I have a soft spot for cats. Don’t judge me.
Mok Yi Ying
Nothing seems right here. Something is definitely going on, and it’s no ordinary stuffs.
I sat down, look around, haven’t got my chair warmed up then reality kicks in. When I joined EcoKnights, every hand and brain was into The 8th International Kuala Lumpur Eco Film Festival (KLEFF), which was going tohappened from the 16th to 18th October. Organizing such festival is no joke, in where preparation, coordination, and execution are put to test. Till the day itself, I’m still trying to grasp my breath, as this bombastic event includes so many varies, ranging from back-to-back films screening, to workshops and green market, also performances all day round. I was literally everywhere during the festival, making sure everything is in position, waiting to rock and roll. I even remembered some Green Market vendors were counting how many times I passed by their booth, saying “Hey Mok, you’d broke the record of the day! Twelve times!”, and I always replied “HAHAHAHA”. Thankfully, KLEFF is a success! Right after KLEFF, without any delay, we push ourselves towards more and more events, for such Local Agenda 21 (LANCE), Langkawi Eco Film Festival (LEFF) and Knights of Nature (KON). And I hasn’t realise my internship placement is going to end soon when all events settles down. Everything was a buzz since day 1 till the very end.
Being a knight has equipped me with determination to concur all obstacles and challenges. We fight for time to meet deadlines for tasks and assignment. We multitask at the peak point to manipulate as much resources as possible in a short time. We get better and stronger every time as we hook to the momentum, finishing delegated task faster and with minimal mistakes. We work hardest and we play harder whenever we got the chance, we don’t let go of it (and we even asked for more!). Some might ask, how do you survive at EcoKnights? Be multipurpose, as easy as that, and in return, they will take you to a new level where I, myself had never known that I’m capable of doing such.
It’s bitter and sweet in this small team. All those different personality in a small compact box, then BOOM!! Be prepared for the unexpected from those little people from 41, Lorong Burhanuddin 11, TTDI. Thank you so much for taking me in, to be a knight, to be part of the team! Hopefully in the future, I can still be good use of EcoKnights, growing strong and healthy together!
A tiny report from Mok, a fun-sized intern, also a fresh graduate from Biodiversity Conservation & Management Year 2014/2015, Universiti Malaysia Terengganu (UMT).
- With lots of love, Mok Yi Ying
Hey there, my name is Tan Weng Han. I am a BA journalism graduate from the Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR).
A little bit of history here, Mok and I have been friends since high school. In year 2010, we got to know EcoKnights and Ms. Yasmin Rasyid (founder and president of EcoKnights) in one of the environmental conferences we have participated in. We have been thinking to come back to EcoKnights someday. Last year, due to my journalistic assignment, I managed to contact Ms. Yasmin Rasyid again for a video interview (with Mok as my assignment-consultant because it was a scientific / environmental documentary) and that rekindles back the enthusiasm in us. And right now with the gap year in between, voila! Here we are with the EcoKnights, the feeling is like a fan who can finally work together with his idol.
My internship experience at EcoKnights has been fruitful. It is about practical hands-on experience coupled with the typical paperwork. My daily duty is to make sure our social media channels are ‘healthy,’ that majorly involves crafting content and keeping track with the newest environmental issues. But the real interesting part is when we get to involve in the tasks of project management. All the four of us interns and our bosses have to coordinate very well with each other so that things can go according to plan. I have participated in 4 major projects (which are awareness-themed events) and a lot of side-projects since my enrolment to the team in September. I must say that there are not many of us in the office yet we still managed to roll out events that attracted hundreds to thousands of participants. And of course, the process was tiring but then, since these are big projects, we were also bestowed many free perks from many of our sponsors. Thanks to EcoKnights, I had my very first cruising experience in life in Langkawi for free!
Well, one important thing I learnt from this internship experience is that there is literally no such thing as ‘perfection’ (zero flaw, exceptionally smooth, and beyond expectation all the time) in reality. There can only be practice, practice, and practice to make sure that you are not outside of the sidewalk which can cause things to go haywire. There is a difference between job experience and practice. You can have years and years of job experience but still remain at where you are, not forward or backward. But ‘practice’, is the more daring yet safe version of ‘job experience.’ It invites you to try out things that you have never done before; it invites you to tap into your inner ambition to be innovative; it invites you to step out of your comfort zone and makes you stop defending your weakness. Nobody was born a Jedi, it is through practising only one can do his job well. For my case, I never knew that I can actually handle projects, I mean I was a journalism graduate you see, and I obviously knew nothing about the SOPs of executing projects at all. Thankfully, EcoKnights trusted me and has provided me the safe heaven to practise my skills. Now, I am confident that I will not fail at project management. If you’re reading this, you should try out an internship opportunity with EcoKnights too! Achievements unlocked!
Get to Know Our Intern and Knights of Nature Camp Graduate, Nurul NabilaMy name is Nurul Nabila Shohimi from Kuala Lumpur. I'm currently pursuing my final year in Environmental Biology in Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang.
My journey with EcoKnights (EK) started with my participation in the Knights Of Nature Camp, November 2014. I got to knew about internship opportunities in EK from their interns who were our camp facilitators. Hearing their exciting stories interning with EK made me feel curious about how successful EK operates as an environmental NGO. I was also strongly encouraged by my supervisor, Dr. Nurul, to learn more from EK as I am actively involved in environmental activism among youths.
Before I started my internship, I thought i was ready for the challenges in EK. It turns out that I was wrong and I felt a bit worried about how I would get about in EK. But EK has a unique working environment that allows one some time to improve himself through mistakes, experience and guidance from the EK team. Everyday is a new and exciting challenge for me. Although there are times I meet failures, I learn to not give up and keep striving for the best. People in EK and MENGO are also friendly and helpful that one would feel at home in no time. I'll definitely miss my internship moments with EK and will definitely keep in touch with them.
Get To Know Our Interns, Samantha Liza
My name is Samantha Liza and I am from Kuching, Sarawak. I am a forestry student from Universiti Putra Malaysia. My academic background is what really aspired me to choose EcoKnights as my internship destination.
My internship at EcoKnights has taught me more than I could have imagined. As an intern, my tasks were diverse, and ever-changing. It does helped me to reinforce my knowledge of responsibility, focus, drive and ambition. As the day goes by, I realized that my time with EcoKnights has been an amazing experience. I really enjoyed working together with so many different people and other interns from various academic backgrounds as well as being able to meet new people from different companies, organizations and societies. It was really awesome in making great connections with them. All this requires a huge amount of patience and tests my attention skills as well. The biggest skill that I learned is the execution of a huge event where it requires me to be patient, committed, efficient and of course energetic to keep me driven through the progress. I also learned and appreciate the value of teamwork and what it takes to be a great team player. We always have each other’s back and that what make my days in EcoKnights even more meaningful. Sometimes when work is intense, we do have to go through sleepless nights yet it was always fun and dynamic and definitely worth the lack of sleep!
My internship at EcoKnights is an extremely valuable experience. It is a small taste of the real world. The best way to learn is by doing. I am truly grateful and blessed for this opportunity and forever indebted to those who gave me a hand here especially to Yasmin and Fadly. Remember to always be friendly, work hard, ask questions and have each other’s back. Wishing EcoKnights a great success. Thanks everyone! Peace.
Get To Know Our Intern, Tharani Alagapan
Hi, my name is Tharani Alagapan from Mersing, Johor. I’m a forestry student from Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM). EcoKnights have been an unexpected turning point in my life which taught so many things. My internship experience in EcoKnights is the most valuable experience for me. To be honest, the four month duration of this internship is an eye open journey.
I had learn so many things especially in making own decisions, being independent and handling (planning and execution) of events. I had a comfortable office environment and a very flexible team who work 24/7 together. Although we are from different races and educational background, we bonded really well and worked well as a team. Moreover, I really want to thank Mrs.Yasmin Rasyid and Mr.Fadly Bakhtiar for being inspiring people and motivating us during the internship period. Work organization and management, as well as the need to be a multi-tasker are some of the best skills I have learnt.
I know more now than I did before I started. Furthermore, I realised that organising environmental events is not an easy job. Participating in a radio interview, assisting with the organization of the Kuala Lumpur Eco Film Festival awards ceremony, assisting in financial matters in the office, as well as being in charge of managing environmental workshops were all new experiences for me.
These new experiences also helped develop and improve my skills in communication and writing. Sometimes situations do get stressful for me but the good thing is, I think I can work better under pressure now. I will miss all the memorable moments and our good times with the EcoKnights. EcoKnights I’m really blessed to be a part of your organization’s team. Thanks for the opportunity and all the best for future projects. Cheers.
Mr. Mandeep Singh from Monash University
Hey, my name is Mandeep and I am currently an intern here at EcoKnights. As I write this, I am already approaching the end of my internship experience, and oh boy, it was an experience I’ll never forget. By the end, I would have been here for a whole two months, and honestly two months is not enough when you’re working with such an amazing team of people.
This being my first internship, I wasn’t really sure what to expect and was therefore understandably nervous on my first day. However, that nervous energy quickly faded as I was immediately put to work on writing up proposals, finding sponsors and doing research. There was such a high level of trust that was awarded to the interns, we were truly allowed to flourish and be creative while also having the option to, at any time, walk over to Yasmin or Fadly’s table and pose any questions we had.
If anyone were to ask me “What was the one thing you took away from this experience?”, my answer would have to be; I learnt how to really work in a team. I have organized many events before, worked with many different people and such but those experiences really boiled down to delegation of work, where everyone was entrusted to do their own part of the work and later it was put together to achieve the final product. However, here at EcoKnights I learnt how to rely on my fellow interns and pool our resources to work on one project consistently before moving onto the next. This helped me broaden my perspective as my peers were sometimes able to offer new approaches or even point out mistakes I hadn’t noticed before. This method of doing things really involved a lot of communication, which was challenging at first but became second nature by the end of my first month.
Now, I should have mentioned this a little bit earlier and technically I could have just added it in at the time I was writing this paragraph but nah, I’m actually a Chemical Engineering student from Monash University. So as you can probably tell, this internship did not really have much to do with my Academic background. In fact, the whole reason I joined EcoKnights was because I was on my summer break and needed something productive to do, I then heard about EcoKnights from a friend who was also going to intern here. EcoKnights really piqued my interest as I always had an interest in the environmental field and I thought, why not? Best. Decision. Ever.
Just the working environment itself was amazing. The office was like a home away from home, quite literally. We sometimes cooked together, always ate together, cleaned up, and sometimes even slept there. It was always open doors at EcoKnights and I think that’s what made working there feel so natural. It never once felt like a chore to get up and go to work, but in fact as time went on I even started looking forward to it.
Not to mention the other companies that share an office with EcoKnights. I met members of these other startups or NGOs and learnt a lot from them. My love for the environment grew as now I started to incorporate all these points of views into my philosophy. Just two months was all it took to change the way I see the world and its issues.
Looking back now, I went in looking for experience in this corporate world but ended up becoming part of a much larger family. I am truly honoured to have been able to work alongside these brilliant people and thank them for teaching me so much. I hope our paths cross again, and I hope to use everything you guys have thought me to better my life and that of those around me.
Thank you EcoKnights.
Mr. Bazil Shahriman
Where do I begin? As I pen this, I am sitting in the office surrounded by an environment that exceeded my expectations. My thoughts reaching out to everything in and out of the office. From our compost bins in the back, garden and cats upfront, aquaponics systems, the TV blaring as my colleague takes some time off to relax, the comfort of my chair and familiarity of my workspace, the odour of my early morning cup of coffee as I am always in the office two and a half hours earlier than I need to be (I hate traffic jams). This sense of affinity with the office has been developed throughout my two months, now running on the third and last one, here with EcoKnights.
I recently finished my A-Levels programme in December 2015 and was only starting my Environmental Science degree course in September. As I was exploring volunteer programmes, part-jobs, and internships, my secondary school chemistry teacher, Puan Sheena, along with a senior I really look up to in the environmental field, Quek Yew Aun, suggested I look into EcoKnights. My ears perked up at the sound of “Eco”. When I further looked into it, I was immediately hooked. Environmental awareness and education. I could not wait! I signed up and got a call for an interview a week later. Done through Skype, I met Fadly, the programme director as he interviewed me whilst I was in college. About a week or two later, my application has been fully approved, and there was a contract and everything! I felt very professional.
The office was unlike I imagined it would be. For starters, it is not exactly an office. Rather, it was a corner house in a housing area in Taman Tun, making work all the more relaxing and flexible. The office was also shared by MENGO, Poptani and CoreResources, three other NGO’s. The aquaponics systems were all set up by Poptani. The first and second days at work was a blur. Mostly because I slept through half the day on both occasions. I was down with bad food poisoning, but Yasmin and Fadly were very considerate, kind, and caring and let me rest however I see fit. So I collapsed on the bean bag. Other than my unproductivity, I also met two other interns, Joycelyn and Emirul and quickly made acquaintance with them. My friend since primary school, Mandeep, was also there as he got interested in interning with EcoKnights when I told him I had signed up. Needless to say, he got through as well.
Work in the office was also not what I expected. I was hoping on giving talks on behalf of EcoKnights, doing field projects and work and attending events. EcoKnights partially satisfied that but I cannot blame them. Interning at the start of the year is when everything only starts to get “set up”. I was doing a lot of office work and amongst them included mending documents, proposals, letters, sending out emails, and striking sponsorship deals with other companies alongside Fadly. Having said that, EcoKnights still managed to fulfill my initial expectations of work. On the 27th of February, I was given the opportunity to present a talk on the environment to thirty five secondary school students in a church. It was an amazing experience; finally being able to express my love for the environment to others. Other than that, we did manage to get hands-on experience on setting up our own aquaponics system (including a much bigger one we have recently installed) and I did manage to attend events for EcoKnights. I have to say, planning the events and attending them are very different experiences all together, but the former is a lot more rewarding. With that, despite EcoKnights not filling my expectations, the experience I have gained throughout the internship in mostly event management amongst other things has been an invaluable experience. Corny, I know, but true. Again, also corny by saying “corny but true” but it really is. I can imagine myself going into university as a seasoned veteran in the arts of event management. Kidding, but I do feel like I have “levelled up”. And I owe it all to EcoKnights and the other people that I have mentioned earlier, especially Quek and Puan Sheena. With that, you all have my eternal gratitude. And thank you. For everything.
As a dental graduate waiting for my posting, I felt the need to explore and dive into something out of my comfort zone. I was certain that there was more to life and more to learn than just pulling out teeth and filling cavities. This internship caught my eye as I was browsing through the internet as I felt that it had a great purpose and mission that is, creating environmental awareness and sustainability among the public.
The interns and people that I have worked with here were from various educational backgrounds with a common goal which is to sacrifice their time, physical and mental wellbeing for a great cause. It was fun but challenging at the same time, with the need to make deadlines and often being in charge of something that I had never done before. Scary, but satisfying once the final product is obtained.
Just one eavesdropping conversation of Yasmin Rasyid, the Founder of EcoKnights speaking to the media or her clients about her passion in this field, will keep you inspired for days. Fadly Bakhtiar the Programme Director of EcoKnights is just as passionate, understanding and strives for open communication in the workplace.
The best part of this internship was the ability and privilege to meet with various Malaysians from different backgrounds be it hoteliers, engineers and academia who are extremely passionate in making this country a more sustainable place for future generations to come. These people did not NEED to incorporate sustainability into their business model neither did I think it was relevant to their field, but they CHOSE to do so. And from then on, something clicked in my brain and I started to realise that it does not matter what career we involve ourselves in but if we have the will and dedication to take on more responsibilities beyond our scope of study, we can be the generation of change towards sustainability to this country.
And who knows, maybe I’ll be the first dentist to come up with a more environmental friendly way to treat medical waste. The possibilities are endless when we think out of the box, which is what this 2 month long internship has taught me.
I still remember the first time I had an interview with Mr. Fadly, our EcoKnights Program Director. During that interview, he asked me: “What do you expect to learn here at EcoKnights?” For a moment, I could not give him an answer. For some, they might say ‘I will want to improve my communication skills’ or perhaps ‘I want to meet new people to expand my network’. That was my first time being interviewed, so I was kind of nervous. After few days, I received a text from Mr. Fadly saying that I was accepted for the internship.
On the first day, the office looked far from what I imagined, which was to be more of a corporate-style surrounding. The office itself is a bungalow surrounded with a garden and aquaponics system. The first person I met on that day was Mr. Ashaari, who is working with PopTani. He showed me where the meeting room is, where everyone was already waiting. There I met Mr. Fadly and three other interns; Joy, Mandeep and Bazil. As months passed by, there were more interns accepted and they are from every part of Malaysia. Then, I took this opportunity to find out about other universities and their courses.
As I’m writing this article, it has been almost 6 months since I have started work here at EcoKnights. Too many things had happened within this period. There were a few programs that I needed to coordinate such as the Kuala Lumpur Eco Film Festival (KLEFF), and the Pulau Tioman Food Waste Survey. For KLEFF, I was tasked to conduct a few film screenings at a few universities. There were a few times that I needed to become a speaker during the screening. For the first time, it was kind of nerve-wracking but after a few talks, I started to gain confidence. But the biggest challenge for me was the food waste survey at Pulau Tioman. I was required to coordinate the whole thing! Imagine going to an island which you are not used to, and conduct surveys. For me, it was quite challenging to work in a different environment but this experience is something that I value and appreciate the most.
Back to the question, what did I learn at EcoKnights? One of the things I’ve learnt is how to practise a green lifestyle. Here in the office itself, we have our own compost bin to produce compost for our plants. We also separate our waste from glass, paper, plastic and aluminium. Other than that, I also learned about the aquaponics system which has already been installed in the office. On top of that, what I have also learnt here is that you always have to have the courage to try something new. I did a few challenging things such as giving a speech in front of crowds, where their ages range from high school to someone who is already managing groups of people. But the lesson that I value the most is that whatever you do, it must be your area of interest. If you do something that you don’t like, sooner or later you will become bored and demotivated to do your job. Since I have been here, I have met various people and most of them are really enthusiastic when they talk about what they do. Well I would love to add more, but words cannot describe the experiences that I have had here in EcoKnights. I would like to thank our president, Mrs. Yasmin Rasyid and program director, Mr. Fadly Bakhtiar for giving me inspiration and encouragement throughout my time here. To all my colleagues, Mandeep, Bazil, Masnawi, Aisyah, Nusyi, Haikal, Zharif, Syamim, Wan, Sue, Jae Mie, and everyone else in the office, you are like my second family here and without all of you, it would be very dull. Thank you.