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My Oaktree Experience

My Oaktree Experience

Oaktree. A simple word that had a completely different meaning to me just last week. Up until recently, if someone asked me what “Oaktree” was I would reply that it is a large, photosynthetic species. Now, my answer would be drastically different.

Before starting my short week at Oaktree I had small expectations for the scale of this organization. I figured it would be about 10 or so people in an office working on small things to raise awareness for poverty. The minute I walked into the door on Monday this thought was shattered. I looked around and saw dozens of people scattered around the surprisingly large office. This moment, my realization of the sheer physical scale of Oaktree, made me further question my previous assumptions about Oaktree.

My time at Oaktree gave me many moments where I felt amazed by the situations I was in. For example, the opportunity to have lunch with poverty workers from Myanmar was a fascinating experience that Oaktree gave me the possibility to have. On that same day, I also had the opportunity to listen in on a meeting discussing various points about Oaktree with a Cambodian freedom fighter.  

Just being in the same room as these people widened my world view and perception of the issues plaguing countries across the globe. Before coming to Oaktree, places like Myanmar and Cambodia had never even crossed my mind. Now, with faces and passionate stories ingrained to those places in my mind, I suddenly care about the issues facing these countries. Now I strongly believe that countries across the globe face turmoil and conflict that deserves attention from people who have power to do something about it.

Oaktree has changed the way I think in just a short week. Not only has it exceeded my expectations in scale and impact, but it has also left lasting ideas in my mind about the fight for the oppressed.

Joel, 17 years old
Joel spent some time at Oaktree on work experience. Interested in how you can get involved? Click here.