Position : Intern

Working Hours : full-time or part-time

Salary Offered : US $200/- per month (full-time)

Location : Online/Digital within any one of the eleven Southeast Asian countries

Reporting to : Department Coordinator/Administrator

Peers : Other interns

Qualifications : As a Southeast Asian candidate (preferred), the intern must have a reasonable level of English ability (spoken and written) and, preferably, fluency in one or more Southeast Asian languages. 

Travel Required : None

New Naratif aims to democratise democracy in Southeast Asia. Our fundamental mission is to build capacity for democracy amongst our members and audience. We do this by publishing information, building communities, and empowering people to create positive change. We operate like a hybrid of a creative storytelling studio, community organiser and mobiliser, and a think tank. Learn more about us newnaratif.com.

New Naratif currently offers internships in the following departments:

  • Operations
  • Research

About our Departments

New Naratif has six departments. Three (Community, Editorial, Civic Participation) are responsible for each step of the process and three (Design, Operations, Research) are cross- cutting departments which are responsible for different functions across the organisation as a whole.

  1. Civic Participation runs events (e.g. democracy classrooms) and public campaigns (e.g. The Citizens’ Agenda). Educates and empowers our communities; Maintains our network of allies and collaborators.
  2. Community builds and maintains New Naratif’s community: members and audience.
  3. Editorial creates accessible outputs that educate and inform Southeast Asia in a coherent and accessible manner. 
  4. Design is responsible for brand communication, information design, and product design across all departments; responsible to provide design strategy and products that enable education, engagement, and empowerment activities.
  5. Operations is responsible for internal communication, coordination, administrative support, HR, regulatory and legal requirements. It builds and fosters a culture of collaboration and creativity across the entire organisation.
  6. Research is New Naratif’s internal think tank, researching important issues and offering input across all our outputs and activities.

What you’ll be doing

Our different departments require different levels of help, and based on your interests and experience, we can discuss which department you would be best suited for and assigned to. Examples of work that you might be asked to do include:

  • Assist departmental colleagues, and occasionally those from other departments, on specific tasks (for example, transcribing interviews, conducting literature reviews, populating lists of relevant contacts).
  • Work on the production, adaptation, editing, and publication process of New Naratif’s various outputs.
  • Assist in distributing and promoting outputs (possibly including both online and public events).
  • Review existing outputs to report on, for example, how user-friendly the website might be.
  • Suggest how outputs will be best operationalised at a practical and grassroots level.
  • Conduct a literature review of a specific political issue or democratic principle in a Southeast Asian country.

You will have the opportunity to sit in on relevant meetings, to speak and be heard, and take part in discussions on New Naratif’s activities.

What you won’t be doing

  • You will not be expected to initiate any tasks, strategies, events etc. by yourself. We’re looking for someone to assist – and learn from – your departmental colleagues. 
  • You will not be expected to be solely responsible for any projects. Being an intern is part of the learning experience and you will be assigned a supervisor.

What we’re looking for

New Naratif is fundamentally a movement for democracy, and our content is geared towards helping build capacity for democracy amongst our members and audience. How we operate, and what we choose to publish, is in service of that goal. Strong candidates will have the following capabilities:

  • Passion for democracy. We want to help cultivate the next generation of Southeast Asians, and to give you an opportunity to understand the work it takes to build democracy in Southeast Asia. We want people who are passionate about empowering Southeast Asians, and who want to give of themselves to make the world better. 
  • Collaboration skills. Our projects have a lot of moving parts. You need to work with people who are working remotely, scattered across Southeast Asia, thousands of miles apart and in different time zones. 
  • Independence. Our work takes place asynchronously and remotely. Although you will be assigned a supervisor, it will often be necessary for you to work independently on specific tasks. 
  • Empathy for the marginalised and voiceless of Southeast Asia. New Naratif is first and foremost a platform for the people of Southeast Asia to imagine and then create a better Southeast Asia. You need to love and understand this region and its history, in all its complexity and diversity. You need to be willing to learn, explore, and grow alongside this region. It means you need to look beyond the borders and boundaries which are currently imposed on us. We want your experience of living in a Southeast Asian country, your connectivity to the communities, knowing everyday local experiences, concerns and challenges which reflect in your work and outputs you supervise. 

Application Process

If you’re ready to gain experience in building capacity for change in Southeast Asia, please send an email to jobs AT newnaratif.com with your CV and cover letter. Please state which department you are applying for and how long, ideally, you want your internship to last. Tell us what you would like to learn during your time with us and why New Naratif is the right place for you to learn and grow.

Please provide the names and contact information for two character referees. At least one should be familiar with your recent professional work (e.g. a colleague, teacher, or supervisor), and neither of whom should be related to you in any way.

If you are applying for an internship to gain educational credits, please include a letter or relevant document from your relevant academic tutor/supervisor/educational institute that affirms that you will be given credit for this internship, and explains clearly the necessary deliverables (e.g. report, evaluation, feedback form, etc.) on the part of New Naratif in order for you to obtain the credit.

Shortlisted candidates will have to undergo an interview. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. Therefore, we encourage you to submit an application as soon as possible because the process may close once suitable candidates have been found.

More Information

The role is an internship, meaning that you will be given clearly defined and limited tasks and responsibilities, and will report to a designated supervisor within the department, usually the Department Coordinator or Administrator.

  • New Naratif is fully remote. We do not have an office. You have to be responsible, communicate and collaborate well online, and be willing to work from home or your own choice of location as long as you are digitally connected with your team and provide the necessary remote supervision and ensure the work schedule is smooth and uninterrupted. 
  • We collaborate chiefly using Google Workspace, Signal, and Trello. 

Although this role does not entail paid leave, we will observe any local public holidays and are open to discussing your schedule and availability.

New Naratif is a not-for-profit, private company, limited by guarantee, registered in the United Kingdom and Malaysia, and headquartered in Kuala Lumpur. 

We are committed to creating an inclusive workplace for all employees regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity, ethnicity, or disability. 

We have a strong preference for Southeast Asians who have personal experience of and understand being marginalised and oppressed.

Thum Ping Tjin

Thum Ping Tjin (“PJ”) is Managing Director of New Naratif and a historian at the University of Oxford. A Rhodes Scholar, Commonwealth Scholar, Olympic athlete, and the only Singaporean to swim the English Channel, his work centres on Southeast Asian governance and politics. His most recent work is Living with Myths in Singapore (Ethos: 2017, co-edited with Loh Kah Seng and Jack Chia). Reach him at pingtjin.thum@newnaratif.com.

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