The idea of completing an internship abroad in the beautiful country of Fiji was so appealing until coronavirus had other ideas. I was sceptical about undertaking an internship focused on Fijian culture and their way of life from the compound of my living room in England. However, the team at ThinkPacific made this course so engaging with many lectures and information on culture, traditions and the social progress in Fiji.
My 4-week internship started off with briefing lectures on what we could expect and what was expected of us from the programme. From there we had alumni talks, lectures from professionals such as environmental specialists and ‘Friday Fun’, where we could learn about traditional Fijian customs from members of the ThinkPacific team out in Fiji. Alongside this we were proceeded with a ‘discovery phase’ where we read short modules about information like culture, the environment, Fijian history and more. This provided the foundation for our Fijian knowledge and helped me choose my action project. We also received very useful lectures on business tips and tricks for when we enter the world of work which I had not expected from this course, yet all of this information tied together to allow me to produce results I was very proud of.
Action projects were chosen in the second week and they are the projects we focused on individually. My chosen action project was with Youth Champs 4 Mental Health, a dedicated team working with Fijian youth to end the stigma of mental health and the high suicide rates. My work involved creating social media content, developing their website and producing social media schedules for the team to make their work that much easier, as well as making their social media accounts coherent and appealing for Fijian youth. I had regular calls with my lovely mentor Zoe, who was incredibly helpful and encouraging throughout the process. I submitted the content I had made along with a pre-recorded presentation about my work for the organisation to watch at the end of my four weeks.
I haven’t done any work like this before, and especially not virtually because of a pandemic. However, ThinkPacific made this course thoroughly engaging. I appreciated how we were encouraged to speak to others on our action projects or our courses and take part in learning about a different culture, yet the degree of autonomy and freedom we had within our action projects was enjoyable.
I am now involved with their alumni series, where I can keep in contact with the team and can receive updated on how my chosen organisation is getting on with their work and the content I provided for them.
Overall, my experience with my summer virtual internship is a positive one, and I highly recommend anyone considering one in the future to go for it.