The Intern Experience: Wenjin Gong

Posted on by Ashley Fruno


I still remember the day in January when I was applying for an intern position at PETA Asia. Just two months afterward, I’m sitting in the office of PETA in Makati City in the Philippines, writing my testimonial about the internship. Awesome!

As someone who cares about animal rights and is always willing to make an effort to help animals, it’s been a great opportunity to get an inside look at the animal rights organization. As an intern for PETA Asia, I was able to expand my knowledge of animal rights issues.

The multitasking internship is basically desk-based. I completed a lot of translations for PETA’s Chinese website and worked with the media to spread PETA’s message. Sound boring? Not at all! After an internship with PETA, you will break the mold: At PETA, interns don’t just make photocopies and coffee for everyone in the office. Instead, you get to develop some very practical skills, including learning how to write to the media and communicate with people of all kinds. One of my projects at PETA was assisting with the launch of Annie Yi’s naked anti-fur ads. I translated the news release and contacted local media. I called hundreds of different media outlets in one day alone! That was a real challenge. But after I saw the media coverage, I knew my efforts had been worth it. Plus, the staff in the office are all super nice and are always ready to answer all your questions and help you if you need it.

The big boss in the PETA Asia office is actually Grace. She’s a dog who was rescued by PETA, and she lives with one of the staff. I love walking Grace—she’s the friendliest dog ever, and can you believe that she’s vegan? Another highlight of the office hours is the super-delicious vegan lunch! You have no idea how great it is until you’ve tried it.

So how’s the life here? I’m totally amazed! The most impressive thing is the hospitality of the Filipino people. Besides that, I loved how convenient life is here. Makati really has everything! Near the intern condo, there are tons of shopping and dining spots. You can get dairy-free Frappuccinos at Starbucks and even vegan gelato. If you’re a big movie fan, there are also several movie theaters within walking distance. Don’t worry about the language—people here have a good grasp of English. The other language spoken here is Tagalog, which is easy to pick up if you’re interested in learning new languages. On the weekends, I usually visit the Saturday market and the Sunday market. You can pick up fresh tropical fruits and organic vegetables or even artwork from local artists. For those who don’t like to venture out, try the rooftop of the intern condo. There’s a very large pool. You can relax and enjoy the sunshine and the water!

I wish I had more time for the internship at PETA. Four weeks is too short. But I’ll definitely apply again if I have extra holidays! I can’t wait to share my wonderful experiences with my families and friends!