My Virtual Summer Internship at Think Pacific
Bula (Hello), my name is Sophia De Araujo and I recently graduated from the University of Southampton in BSc Psychology.
In my third year of university I found an internship offered by Think Pacific that I could complete in summer and was all virtual. This appealed to me a lot as I would be able to complete my internship in the comfort of my own home. I completed an application and had a short interview and then I was all set to start my 8-week internship in July. The internship was very flexible so I was able to pick from either a 4 week, 8 week or 12-week internship.
During week 1 and week 2, I was introduced to my mentor and a few other interns in my mentor group and shown how to use software such as slack, zoom and google calendar. We also created three SMART goals we wished to accomplish at the end of our internship. We then had a welcome brief which introduced us to the internship and what to expect for the coming weeks. We were given tips on how to manage our time and make the most of working remotely. Then we got introduced to the portal where we independently completed 9 modules introducing us to Fijian culture, its ancient history, religion, the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, the Fijian National Development Plan and many more. These modules were very interesting to cover and it being virtual allowed me to go through the modules in my own time. We could also meet up with other interns throughout the world through the virtual coffee meet ups over zoom throughout our internship. I recommend doing this a lot as I was able to meet many like-minded people on the internship. We were also encouraged to complete a self-reflection form at the end of each week to reflect on our experiences and our skills.
During week 3 and week 4, was decide phase where we were introduced to 12 internship fields such as international development, marketing, global psychology, environment, sports development and many others. We then had pick an action project for an organisation within the internship field we chose. The action project involved partnering up with a local Fijian organisation to help them meet the sustainable development goals. I chose the global health field and worked with Fiji Alliance for Mental Health which aimed to tackle stigma around mental health and raise awareness around mental health. I helped create resources to improve people’s mental health wellbeing during Covid-19. We also had culture sessions each week where I learnt about Fijian weaving, Fijian dance, ceremonial drink called kava, and Fijian music. We also had word of the week, where I picked up on a few Fijian words.
Week 5 and week 6 involved working on developing my action project, conducting research and making resources. I also attended webinars and some guest speaker talks which helped me gain knowledge about what like was like in Fiji and this helped me to tailor my action project. I had meetings with my mentor who checked up on my progress and supported me in reaching my personal SMART goals.
Finally, during week 7 and 8, I created a PowerPoint presentation to explain my action project which I then had to pre-record and send to my partner organisation along with my action project. During these weeks we learnt skills like presentation skills and recording tips to help us with the presentation video. After submitting our projects, we had a final debrief which concluded our virtual internship.
I would recommend this internship to everyone as I was able to gain transferable skills, received a lot of support from my mentor and was able to make a difference in a Fijian community by helping them meet one of the sustainable development goals.
Vinaka vaka levu to Think pacific and Southampton University Study Abroad team for making it possible for me to undertake this internship and be given the opportunity to gain this experience with the internship.