Treasure Hunts & Pitching: the Introduction Days at Oxfam Novib

hunt always made me think of Disney films like Peter Pan or this Dutch board game
‘Het Betoverde Doolhof’. But after attending the Introduction Days of the Oxfam
Novib Academy (ONA), it got a different meaning for me. I will tell you my
story about that…

the first week of February all new interns of Oxfam Novib were attending the
Oxfam Novib Academy Introduction Days. Three days of introduction particularly
for new interns starting in February. Although I was an ‘exception’, because I
already started my research internship in the Impact Measurement Team three
weeks before, these Introduction Days were also for me really useful and fun.
Three days about getting to know the organization and her employees in the
first place, second, to let the organization get to know you as a new intern
and last but not least about getting to know each other, your fellow interns.

Getting to know the organization and her
employees was done by the three different ‘Treasure Hunts’ we did. One of them
was to find certain people within the Oxfam Novib building and talk with them
about their function and career. My group talked to Rudolf, who already worked
for more than 20 years at Oxfam. He told us about the travels to Africa he made
during his time at Oxfam and about the biography he is
writing at the moment in honor of Oxfam Novib’s 60th birthday. We
also met Cor. Getting to know Oxfam Novib and not getting to know Cor is almost
impossible. Cor is the man in the building who knows everything and who is
always walking around to arrange different kind of things. He can help you to
get your tag for entering the front door and he is for example also responsible
for preparing the meeting rooms. But besides that, Cor is also Oxfams own DJ
and present at every farewell party and the famous ‘Christmas borrel’ every

Next to
the Treasure Hunt we also had some workshops of Oxfam Employees, one about
Impact Measurement and the other one about Gender & Intersectionality.
Marjolein, one of the new interns, was especially interested in the workshop
about Impact Measurement.


“The workshop on Impact Measurement led to an interesting discussion
about the value of research and evaluation for the work of Oxfam, and the
challenges and opportunities that emerge while doing so. Since it is the team I
am interning in, it also contributed to the understanding of the other interns
about what I will be working on”.

To let
the organization get to know you as a new intern was realized by the pitches we
gave the second day. We had a workshop of Eric Prinzen who explained us the ins
and outs of pitching. To make it personal was the way to do it. In the
afternoon the room got full of curious Oxfam Novib employees and each one of us
took the stage. New intern Marjolein told us about growing up as a child at
Texel and how she was faced to injustice and poverty for the first time when
her parents took her on holiday to South Africa. My own pitch was about my
background in Anthropology and passion for travelling. I also told the people
more about my research internship which I am doing now within Oxfam about
storytelling and impact measurement.

By having
these Treasure Hunts, workshops and presenting ourselves during the pitches,
not only the organization got to know us and we got to know them, but we also
learned a lot about each other. By getting to know your fellow interns, you’ll
also hear stories about the different department and teams within Oxfam Novib.
And besides that you’ll have always someone to have lunch with.

So, in
the train back to Utrecht (where I live) on Friday after these three days, I
felt tired but satisfied. These Introduction days gave me a lot of new relevant
information about Oxfam Novib. From how to find certain persons and where they
are in the building to where to find the nicest sandwiches for lunch (which is
just around the corner at Jimmy’s Broodjes).

is currently working on an internship where she compares the use of
storytelling for impact measurement and evaluation at Oxfam Novib and Cordaid.
Before coming to work for us she spent two months doing research in Guatemala
as an anthropology student so it is not surprise that this young lady is fluent
in Spanish and her interest in travel and exploration makes her a refreshing
addition to the team. “


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