INTERNING AT OXFAM NOVIB

When I looked back, at the
end of January, I remember the feelings that I came across at the Introduction
days; a friendly environment, interesting projects, being a member of a group,
diversity and so on. These feelings became stronger and stronger during the
internship period. What I receive from this experience is much more than what I
expected.

Photo: Georgia trying her
hand at Campaigning with a Tax Stunt outside the Dutch Parliament | Photo
Credit: Oxfam Novib 

First of all, I learned a
lot; not only about international taxation but I learned about inequality,
poverty, gender issues, youth, private sector and many other topics.
Furthermore, the Academy was an important source of inspiration. The fact that
interns are a member of the Academy, presents the opportunity of getting to
know each other and accomplish  productive activities together like
workshops, brainstorming and exchange of ideas. One other reason that this
journey is unforgettable for me is the fact that, I was accepted as member of
the project team; I have been invited and I participated in campaign meetings
and communicated via call meetings with people working in other Oxfam offices.
Furthermore, I had the chance to attend the Global
Tax Policy
 conference
which was a valuable experience.

Of course, in every story
there are also challenges.

The project itself was
daunting for me since it was difficult to find available data sources and
formulate a successful methodology. At the beginning, the assignment had been
clearly set out to be about the consequences of income tax competition which is
often called as a “race
to the bottom”.
 Countries
tend to cut their corporate income tax rates and give incentives to
corporations in order to attract high level of investments. The question is if
this competition is healthy or harmful especially for developing countries. The
aim of my research was to find outwhat is the impact of “race
to the bottom” on developing countries
. The lack of data sources
of corporate profits on country level and corporate income tax revenues of
developing countries brings to light the obstacles of solving this research
question. Therefore, the deliverables of the internship have been changed
during the progress of the research.

Photo: Georgia with her
mentor Esme and  Jan-Willem, fellow Academy and team member | Photo
Credit: Oxfam Novib Academy

However, my passion for
the topic and my helpful mentor encouraged the completion of the internship
successfully. I reported the research, including a literature overview and the
analysis I formulated from the available data, along with the datasets I used.
During the internship, the campaign focused on the Country by Country reporting
guidelines proposed by OECD (Action Plan 13), and I worked on this topic as
well. I prepared another report on this issue, describing my calculations and
my methodology. At the end, I was glad that I completed two reports in regards
with the research I have conducted and the potential use of them by next
interns. Overall, I enjoyed my time at Oxfam Novib a lot and I definitely would
do it again.

“Tell me and I forget, teach
me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.”

Benjamin
Franklin

. Indeed, I felt that
Oxfam Novib Academy involved me in the organization and gave me the chance to
learn and transfer my knowledge to useful input for the next interns and
progress of the project.

Georgia Dimitriou

Georgia interned with the
Tax Justice and Inequality team at Oxfam Novib. Born and raised in Cyprus, her
passion for fair tax systems made her an unconventional student of finance. She
is now working with IBM, and to her joy doesn’t have to
deal with the long travel time from Groningen to the office anymore! 

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