EcoKnights Newsletter December 2015

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December 2015

The Knights of December

The Knights of December

Greetings from EcoKnights interns

Shi Min

Shi Min

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 Wen

Wang Jian Wen

WAZZZUPPPPPP. 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

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

Weng Han

Weng Han

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!

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EcoKnights is a non-for-profit environmental organization registered with the Registrar of Societies Malaysia. EcoKnights' core focus areas are in environmental education and awareness using innovative and creative platforms. More information about EcoKnights can be obtained from www.ecoknights.org.my.
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