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News — 18 September, 2023

Embracing a supportive community: my journey as an intern at HOT

Follow Benedicta Ohene's journey as an intern for the Community Team at HOT and the lessons she learned during her time in the team.

I can’t believe my internship is over! It feels like just yesterday I was starting out, feeling nervous and unsure of myself. But thanks to the amazing team at the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team, I’ve learned so much and grown so much as a person. I started the internship in October 2022. It was originally supposed to end in May 2023, but I got an extension for two more months. Isn’t it amazing?

I interned with the HOT Community Team with the objective of helping them in a variety of ways, including but not limited to conducting research, gathering information, and assisting in the organization and execution of events, meetings, and workshops.

“Thank you” seems like an understatement to express my overwhelming gratitude for the incredible internship opportunity bestowed upon me. From the moment I stepped into this vibrant team, I knew I was among the best people I have ever had the privilege to be around. The love and care they extend to one another create an atmosphere of warmth and camaraderie that made me feel like I was part of something truly special.

Among the many valuable lessons I have taken to heart from our catch-ups, one stands out prominently - the importance of acknowledging and celebrating my own achievements, no matter how small they may seem. Before joining this team, I struggled to recognize my own accomplishments and often brushed them aside as insignificant. However, their encouragement and support taught me the significance of appreciating my progress and valuing every step I take toward my goals.

Equally transformative was their emphasis on the power of seeking help when needed. Admitting my vulnerabilities and asking for assistance was something I had always found difficult. But with their guidance, I found the courage to reach out for support, knowing that it was not a sign of weakness but a testament to the strength of our shared bond.

As my internship came to an end, I realized how much I appreciated every moment I spent with this great group. “Everything that has a beginning has an end,” as they say, yet I couldn’t help but desire for more time. In particular, Arnalie Vicario (my supervisor) made an indelible impression on me. Her generosity, guidance, and unfailing support moved my heart in ways words cannot express.

BenedictaAndArnalie.png Photo from the last one-on-one with my supervisor, Arnalie Vicario

I liken this team to a closely-knit family, where each member plays a vital role in uplifting one another and fostering growth. Their sense of unity and dedication to each other’s improvement is nothing short of inspiring. I feel blessed to have been a part of this powerhouse of collaboration - the community working group that truly lives up to its name. The diverse backgrounds and expertise of the team were a testament to the organization’s commitment to inclusivity.

If I were a skilled writer, I would fill volumes of books with tales of the experiences and lessons I gained during my internship. But alas, as I occasionally struggle to put my thoughts into words, I will simply say that this journey has been more profound and impactful than I could have ever imagined.

As I step away from this incredible chapter of my life, I carry with me a heart brimming with gratitude and the knowledge that the bonds formed here will remain etched in my soul forever. To my dear team, my heartfelt thanks for being the beacon of light during this enriching internship. You are all a testament to the beauty of human connection, and I will forever treasure the memories and the growth you’ve nurtured in me.

Contributions and Accomplishments

During my time as an intern, I had the privilege of engaging in a range of projects and tasks, contributing to the growth and development of our community.

  • One of the highlights of my internship was my involvement in organizing webinars. Collaborating closely with the team, I played a key role in ensuring the successful execution of these events, from coordinating schedules and speakers to helping with technical aspects and setting up ticketing pages using Eventbrite. I gained firsthand experience in event management and organization, sharpening my ability to handle multiple responsibilities effectively.
  • Making eye-catching posters for pre- and post-webinar sessions, as well as various training events using Canva, was another area where I had a significant influence. These images improved the effectiveness of our messages by serving as both educational tools and creative elements. By creating these posters, I was able to use my design abilities to convey important information in a visually appealing way.
  • Aside from that, from time to time, I updated our OSM wiki page with the most recent events and details. To ensure that the people in our community always had access to accurate and current information, this endeavor needed diligent attention to detail. I improved my organizing abilities during this process and gained a better appreciation for the significance of maintaining the currency of digital resources.
  • I found helping translate important documents using DeepL translator to be a really rewarding component of my internship. The importance of efficient communication across language barriers was reaffirmed by this work, which also gave me new insights into the community’s global reach. Contributing to a larger audience’s access to information was incredibly fulfilling.
  • One of the roles that allowed me to step into a leadership position was chairing or hosting our * Community Working Group meetings. Effective communication and good interpersonal skills were needed to steer topics, encourage collaboration, and make sure meetings went off without a hitch. This experience gave me a newfound appreciation for the role of a facilitator in driving productive discussions.

Webinar.jpeg Example of webinar sessions

In reflection, I can say that each of these contributions has not only benefited our community but has also been crucial to my development, both personally and professionally. They have helped and taught me to understand the value of strong teamwork, attention to detail, creative problem-solving, and good communication. As I move forward, I carry these experiences with me, ready to tackle new challenges and continue making meaningful contributions in my journey ahead.

In summary


There have been many successes, but my top three are as follows:

  • Having an amazing, inspiring mentor, friend, and big sissy as a supervisor who made everything so easy for me - every day was like a party talking to you. Thank you for always being there
  • Having to work with such amazing community team members who had everyone at heart
  • Completing the internship successfully


Whatever the triumph, there will always be some difficulties.

  • One major issue or roadblock for me was internet connectivity, which caused me to be late for some duties.


  • Skills Enhancement: During my internship, I had the chance to apply and expand my skills and knowledge gained through learning. Working on real-world projects exposed me to practical challenges, which enhanced my competency in related skills, such as graphic design and software tools, such as Canva. I learned how to use Eventbrite.
  • Cross-Functional Collaboration: I learned the importance of effective communication and collaboration across departments. Engaging with colleagues from diverse backgrounds and roles enriched my understanding of how different teams contribute to the overall success of the organization, especially with the organization of webinars.
  • Time management: Balancing various projects and duties taught me significant time management skills. I gradually learned to prioritize tasks, fulfill deadlines, and stay productive while dealing with unanticipated problems.
  • Professional Development: Participating in team meetings, workshops, and company events exposed me to a professional environment. It allowed me to cultivate essential soft skills, such as public speaking, teamwork, critical thinking, and adaptability.

What I loved most:

  • One-on-one sessions
  • Icebreaker questions

CommunityWorkingGroupSession.jpeg Screenshot of a Community Working Group session

I want to express my sincerest gratitude to my supervisor, Arnalie Vicario, Pete Masters (Community Team Lead), the community team, and the entire Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT). Thank you once again for the enriching opportunity.

Long Live the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT)