07 July 2023

Experiences from Namibia

Written by: Valery Serrano

In June as a part of my master’s program, I had the privilege to spend 2 weeks in Namibia. During my time in Namibia, I stayed on the Cheetah Conservation Fund ( grounds, where my classmates and I learned about their conservation, education and research efforts in their community. Additionally, we visited Etosha National Park, where we camped out near a water hole and observed wildlife throughout the night. On our last night in Namibia, we stayed in Panduka (, which means “wake up”. Panduka is an artisan training centre for the local less privileged women of Namibia. This experience was a life-changing one and will forever keep it in my heart. As a first-generation immigrant, I never pictured myself as the person I am today. I remember sitting in front of the TV watching African wildlife with my brother and telling him one day I was going to see them in person. I feel grateful that my position supports my education and that I can share my stories with those around me.

I have never missed work for more than 2 weeks, and upon arriving back to work, the catch-up of emails and teams’ messages took half a day to complete. When I returned, I submitted for a Virtual Student Federal Service intern on behalf of our team. We are in hopes of receiving an intern to mentor and guide them through the federal career world. A virtual student intern can intern remotely, committing about 10 hours per week during the school year. My first job was working in counselling college freshmen and sophomores, so mentoring an intern will bring back some great memories.

June has come to an end and the other half of the year is waiting to be experienced. I am looking forward to becoming a permanent employee of this agency and for the months ahead.

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