July 18, 2023

Full Time Liquid - One Year of Volunteer Service at Liquid Democracy e.V.

The voluntary service of our first volunteer Ronja is coming to an end. In this post, she talks about her highlights of the last months and what she takes away from her time at Liquid.

Time is still passing so quickly and now it's only a few days until I will say goodbye to the office and start another new phase of my life. I've experienced the effects of the different seasons in the office, figured out the best and worst places to be when dealing with the sun, and have certainly sat at every desk in our office. The last few months have once again brought many interesting and beautiful moments that I will always remember fondly.

Ronja is sitting in front of her laptop and smiling at the camera.
Ronja in our meeting room

In the second half of the year, many tasks were routinized: Copying techniques were optimized, the MAC and I slowly became a good team and Twitter post drafts came closer to the right character count. However, many new exciting tasks were added and I continued to learn about new tasks and topics. I dove into social media programs, learned about the human work behind Artificial Intelligence by annotating data for an AI, and also got to spend a week filling in for a PR person from our team on vacation. Which was exciting and positively challenging, as it meant I had to make more autonomous decisions. Again, there were also two highlights in the past few months that I would like to share a few more words about:

The first highlight was the opportunity to focus on social media towards the end. Although I had been part of the public relations team for the whole year, I created or contributed to posts rather sporadically. I had noticed over time that I particularly enjoyed creating short pieces of copy and was interested in being able to get more involved in this area. It was also a bit exciting at first to think, as I did here with the blog post, that theoretically the whole world could see the posts and thus potential see spelling mistakes and misplaced commas. But it's mostly gone well, even though there may have been some trial-and-error Phases. Especially getting everything into the limitation of Twitter was a bit challenging, but somehow it always worked out. I'm very grateful to my team that I was still able to discover something that was a lot of fun, and I hope to be able to revive those skills in another context in my future.

Editing a post on Instagram

My second highlight was our internal DjangoGirls or rather DjangoLiquids workshop, where our development team introduced us to the basics of software development for a day and guided us in setting up our first own blog. Since development is one of the areas that is very central to our organization, but I had very little contact with the team and their tasks during my time, this insight was very interesting and enlightening for me. I did make some major mistakes in programming, that held up my whole process and as a result I couldn't finish the tasks, but making mistakes in the beginning when learning software development is supposed to be very good and helpful, I was told. This introduction also made me want to delve a bit further into the subject and since then I've been trying my hand at some beginner tutorials every now and then in my free time, and I'm having fun seeing the tiniest bit of progress every now and then. Here I am very grateful to Liquid Democracy e.V. and the development team to have gotten an insight into a topic, which I probably would not have gotten to know in this way without my year here.

As you can easily see, I could really take away a lot from this year and I am very happy to have been here. At the beginning of the year, I didn't really have a plan of what exactly I was getting myself into, since a lot of the work areas were new territory for me. But I am even more grateful for the variety of tasks and the strong attention to my interests, which allowed me to try out and do what aroused my interest during the year. I hope that I have also been a meaningful asset to the team and have been able to provide enough support to everyone. For me, a very new phase of my life and work is now coming to an end, and I'm off to new professional adventures after a scheduled relaxing vacation.

I wish liqd and all my colleagues the best for the future and especially hope that the next volunteer has a great start and spends an exciting year with the team.

Katharina and Ronja at the Django workshop