Hi! My name is Zara and I am currently in my second year of university, studying BA Spanish and French. Due to the pandemic, all of the plans I had to develop my employability fell through (regretfully), so when I saw that Think Pacific offered a virtual internship, I leapt at the chance to complete it. Over the summer, I participated in the Think Pacific virtual internship, following the 12-week program. There were four phases to my internship: discover, decide, design and deliver. Each phase lasted for 3 weeks, each with a different focus.
During the ‘discover’ phase, I spent a lot of time learning more about Fijian culture. There were eight different modules, each focusing on different aspects of Think Pacific. Examples of the modules included ‘sustainable development’, ‘cultural intelligence’ or ‘The Think Pacific Story’. All of the modules were really comprehensive and easy to follow, whilst also providing so much in-depth information about topics I had never had much exposure to previously. It was a unique opportunity to gain insight into a culture I have never really considered before, especially as a languages student who dedicates my to predominantly European cultures.
During the decide phase, I had the opportunity to pick a Fijian organisation to partner with and to create a project for. There was a vast range of projects to choose from, all with differing focuses – NGOs, sports, business, among others. I knew that I was more interested in fields linked to NGOs and education, so I spent a considerable amount of time looking through all of the projects linked to these two sectors.
I ultimately decided to work with an organisation called ‘Comfy Prints’, a small business in Fiji which creates reusable menstrual products. I created materials to raise awareness about the importance of menstrual hygiene and the benefits or reusable pads. As part of my project, I created a booklet which contained information about menstrual health, the menstrual cycle, managing periods and the stigmas surrounding menstrual cycles and how these can be broken. I also created posters with facts about reusable period products and menstrual hygiene to go in the packaging of purchased reusable pads.
In the final phase, the ‘deliver’ phase, I presented my completed project to my mentor. This involved creating a PowerPoint showcasing all of the skills I had learned throughout my internship, the parts that I enjoyed, areas I felt I had developed personally and professionally and my final product. Dedicating time to reflect on my own journey with Think Pacific, and the skills I had gained from it, was a really gratifying experience and I really enjoyed how much emphasis the organisation placed on self-evaluation.
I gained so many valuable skills from completing my virtual Think Pacific internship; I gained increased cultural awareness, had the opportunity to develop my digital skills, and completed a career-specific work placement. I really enjoyed my experience and would encourage other students to take part in it, as it is a great project to take on over the summer!