Experience of supervisor - Annika Norlin

14 February 2017

I am working as the Gender and Diversity Advisor at the Human Resources department in Geneva. I have been working as a Protection delegate and programme responsible for many years in the field for the ICRC. Part of my heart is still with the various people I met in all the prisons and detention centers that I visited during my career. I hold a recent Master's in Public Administration with focus on Human Resource management and a (less recent) Master's degree in Political Science and Economics. I initially joined the Red Cross as a volunteer for the Swedish Red Cross in Gothenburg, Sweden.

For how long have you been supervising trainees/associates?

I started working with trainees in 2008. I am regularly impressed by the skills and competencies of the trainees from who I have learned both professionally and personally. At times, I also found friendship.

What does trainees/associates bring to you?

The question should maybe be the other way around; what do we bring to trainees? In my experience, successful traineeships often come with well-defined terms of reference and being open about our expectations of each other. At times, our expectations need some fine-tuning and reality checks, this is possible when we keep the dialogue open.

What story would you like to share that impressed you?

Over time, trainees have collectively left a big footprint at HQ and they continue doing so. From a diversity and inclusion point of view, trainees have had a great influence. A new 'population' has joined the organization and has earned a lot of respect and recognition for their work. As an organization, we have learned to integrate new profiles and skills and to take new insights on board. I also have very fond personal memories of trainees with a deep motivation for humanitarian work. Right now I have the pleasure of working with Brittany who is just finishing her traineeship. We've had a lot of fun together all while doing some really good work. It has been a very positive experience for me.