I’m Gracie Horton and I’m a first-year geography student at the University of Southampton. The passion I have for saving the environment and preventing the harmful changes that are resultant from climate change is what drew me to complete this 4-week internship with Think Pacific.
Within the environmental sector, the Think Pacific Foundation are working towards making a sustainable impact in Fiji. They work in alignment with the Fiji National Development Plans and the Sustainable Development Goals. These plans are at the forefront of change and therefore need to be utilised when planning and implementing new schemes and strategies. This would help us globally so that we can ensure that the Paris Agreement is met.
The project that I chose involved me researching carbon offsetting and proposing the best solutions for Think Pacific and other Fijian organisations. My personal mentor and the other interns that I connected with were extremely helpful in ensuring that my project was well-suited to needs of the Think Pacific Foundation. The connection with other like-minded people was hugely beneficial in terms of networking and engaging in informative conversations that expanded the ideas I had for my project.
This program brought me such an enormous insight into the culture of Fiji, which I absolutely loved! This is because there are weekly sessions that are run in order to educate us about varying topics. For example, I was able to learn about the Fijian language, food, family, music, and traditions. This helped me enormously when creating my action project as I was able to link my suggestions to the culture to make sure that my project was meaningful.
Furthermore, there are recordings of and live sessions with guest speakers. These enhance both your knowledge about the various sectors that Think Pacific work in and your personal and professional skills. Think Pacific has various workshops that offer advice and upskilling so that you can bridge the gap between university and the workplace. As a result, this program has enabled me to develop in terms of my presentation and communication skills as well as my report writing.
My tips for students wanting to take part in this opportunity in the future are:
- Engage with other like-minded students and arrange a virtual coffee to meet and discuss ideas!
- Make the most of your mentor – their support and advice is invaluable.
- Take part in all the culture and skills sessions – these are really interesting!
- Watch the recordings with guest speakers – even if they are not in the sector that you choose.
I have really enjoyed my time completing my project for Think Pacific and would definitely recommend this to anyone looking to make a beneficial impact this summer!