Thomas Ansell: 'Our biggest goal is to bring people together'
For this interview, we spoke with Thomas Ansell: Head of Communications at The Hague Humanity Hub. The organisation facilitates and supports innovations geared towards peace and justice. They provide new connections, collaboration networks, and exchange of information. What kind of organisations is this? What are the tasks interns are expected to perform? And what do FGGA’s students have to offer them?
What kind of organisation is The Hague Humanity Hub?
‘It is difficult to describe in only a few words. We are an organisation of people committed to and working in the field of peace and justice. All members affiliated with our organisation, are professionals working in the field. We collaborate with partners and, for instance, organise lectures, drinks, network, and more serious events. It is a complex organisation.’
What is the goal of The Hague Humanity Hub?
‘Our goal is to act with purpose, to create effective actions. We want to make sure that our actors are acquainted with the subjects that we are focussing on, such as organising events. Our main goal is bringing people together. We make sure that our members can exchange contact information and are able to share knowledge at the events we organise, which in return results in inspirational collaboration networks in the field of peace and justice.’
Why did you decide to post your internships on Trail?
‘We are looking for new interns every six months. It is important that people understand how international organisations operate and the students at the Faculty of Governance and Global Affairs know exactly that. It is also important that internships understand what is involved when it comes to peace and justice. These are all subjects that are addressed by your Faculty.’
What are the tasks that internships are expected to perform?
‘It depends on the type of internship the intern will follow with us. One of the tasks is working on the programming for professionals, where you create a programme of events and think about how to reach the target audience for those events. An intern can also decide to focus on communications, where you, for instance, work on texts. We also have an intern working on community development, doing fun things with members, so mainly organising social activities. You are expected, however, to work independently because you will be managing your own projects.’
So, you will be assigned your own projects as an intern?
‘Yes, you can decide which tasks you would like to focus on or specialise in. Several previous interns really wanted to initiate something within the organisation. It also looks good on your resumé, because you can show that you can work independently and manage projects.’
Have you had good experiences with students from our Faculty?
‘We have had many interns from your Faculty. We have only had good experiences. Most of our interns end up in good positions, such as working at the International Court of Justice or Impunity Watch, so that does tell you something about the students who intern at our organisation.’
Has Trail made it easier to find interns?
‘Trail is important for us to find interns. We want to reach as many students at Leiden University as possible. By using the internship platform, the internships are brought to the attention of students of the Faculty. Trail makes finding new interns easy. I do not know the percentages and number of interns coming in through Trail. What I do know is that half of our interns come from Leiden University and that is all down to the good experiences we have had so far.’
Text: Abdelkarim Megaiz