Rob Gilchrist at ​the Afghan Australian Development Organisation (AADO)

Name: Rob Gilchrist
Course: Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Business
Currently: ​Working on the AADO management team
Internship Placement: Afghan Australian Development Organisation

The Afghan Australian Development Organisation (AADO) provides education and vocational training in Afghanistan for those with minimal opportunities, particularly women and girls, to develop professional skills thereby fostering sustainable livelihoods. AADO has a proven track record of high outcome, low cost programs delivered by local project staff who have deep community networks and trusted relationships.

For my WIL placement in 2016 I had the opportunity to work with the Afghan Australian Development Organisation (AADO), a small organisation which develops training programs in Afghanistan. Because AADO is small, I was given a wide range of tasks and responsibilities, from helping brief the management team for meetings with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), to leading the team that developed a Risk Management Policy document. This placement gave me a great appreciation for the success that small groups can achieve, particularly when everyone has a broad range of experiences.

I found the freedom within my placement to be particularly enjoyable and rewarding. Having previously completed an internship with a large multinational organisation for the business side of my degree, I enjoyed being able to set my own hours and tasks, while being granted immediate responsibility and leadership roles within groups and meetings. I believe this allowed me to really grow as a person.

Since completing my placement, and ultimately my degree, I continued to work in construction full-time, while also working with AADO on various projects. This has led to an offer to join their management team, helping with events planning and policy development.

I have found that my experience within AADO has been beneficial to my professional development, allowing me to become a better manager of people, of time and of resources, while helping me to understand other perspectives and opinions.