Think Pacific Summer Internship Program - Serena's experience
By Serena Larrier
My experience as a Think Pacific intern
As a final year student and due to graduate I was looking for an internship that I could fully commit my time and effort to. When I saw this opportunity at Think Pacific, I couldn’t wait to get involved and contribute. It was just an added bonus, which I am grateful for, that it was full funded by the University of Surrey.
Onboarding and structure
The internship is divided into a 4-, 8- or 12-week experience to create an action project that supports sustainable development within Fiji and the Pacific Islands. As an intern you are spoilt for choice with the vast array of projects that you can be involved in including, sport development, marketing, global health, NGO management and many more.
There are a total of 5 different phases throughout the internship, starting with the discovery phase which allowed me to immerse myself into and learn about Fijian culture, whilst also able to discuss my project with my mentor and other interns. The decide phase was the hardest part of the internship as being torn between two projects. In the end, as undecided and with the help of my mentor, I went onto the design phase and created 2 projects, an online sports training program for youth school dropouts for the Ministry of youth and sport, and a website / blog for a wellness and fitness movement, Body Fit and Fab.
This all enabled me to successfully deliver a presentation to each partner organization to showcase my proposed thoughts and ideas.
Each week we were introduced to a culture session to become culturally aware about Fiji, delivered in a fun but informative way. My personal favorite was a session on how Fijian music has evolved and its impact on other countries. Keeping an open mind, each session continued to remind me of the importance of being culturally sensitive and use this approach when designing my projects.
Throughout the 8-weeks I have achieved all my personal and professional goals that I set at the beginning of the internship, by becoming more productive, presenting effectively, and getting closer to achieving a growth mindset. This was further enhanced by a variety of different workshops targeted towards achieving a positive mindset, time management and a session on feedback.
From my experience, this internship is invaluable and one of a kind. As I progress with my career, I will continue to use the skills and knowledge I have developed. I could actively use my own ideas, gain advice and guidance and experience virtual coffees which were a great way to meet likeminded interns, no matter what project everyone was on. As a result, this helped to implement projects that I could be proud to be involved in.
I have thoroughly enjoyed my time as a Think Pacific intern and will continue to learn about Fijian culture.