It was early September when I started my internship at IPIS, but the story started way earlier. During my Master’s degree, I came across this research centre and used part of the extensive information it provides on artisanal mining and conflict in eastern DRC. Eventually, I ended up writing my thesis based on IPIS data. It seemed then very natural to apply for an internship in IPIS GIS team in order to strengthen my analytical as well as my data management skills.
During the last four months I learned about mobile data collection using tools such as Open Data Kit (ODK) and Kobo Toolbox, I got introduced to database management and SQL, I deepened my mapping skills with QGIS and I further expanded my data manipulation and data analysis proficiency in R Studio.
During the main part of my internship I was tasked with one specific research project on miner’s revenue in Eastern DRC. Being deeply involved in all the steps of this project, from brainstorming and desk research over data collection, cleaning and analysis to the report-writing was a great experience. Challenging though it may have been sometimes, especially with the short deadlines provided by the donor, I felt empowered by the degree of responsibility I was given and the opportunity to grow professionally.
While being worthwhile in itself, the internship at IPIS has also reassured me that indeed I would like to be involved in research in the future and that applying for a PhD would be a good next step to consider in my future endeavour.
All of this happened in the most friendly and collegial atmosphere and I can honestly say that the entire team made this experience as pleasant, but also as professionally valuable, as in any way possible. Thanks a lot to everyone at IPIS!
– Markus Geray