What is your degree?
I have a Bachelor of Political, Economic and Social Sciences. Majoring in Political Economy from the University of Sydney.
Tell us about the course…
My favourite subjects were political economy of development and an environmental sustainability subject. They were my favourite subjects because they were very internationally focused and I’m really interested in sustainable development and environmental sustainability.
I had 12 contact hours a week but spent at least an extra 3 hours at home everyday on uni work. Sometimes more depending on how many assignments I had.
Did you intern throughout your studies?
No I didn’t intern through my course, they unfortunately didn’t offer an intern component, a weakness of the degree in my opinion. I wished I had as actively looked for internships from the beginning of my degree. In my field, international development, an internship and experience is essential to get any sort of job. So getting experience as soon as possible is essential. You also make very helpful and useful contacts when you intern. So many jobs in my field are word of mouth, which you can only hear about by being around the right people. When I finished I looked for an internship.
Did you find it more difficult to get a grad intern position without the previous experience?
Hmm, well I had no development experience the way is good out was emphasising my travel experience. Especially that I had already been to Latin America and Indonesia, a developing country. I used the pub I worked at to show that I work well with others. But one of the main reasons I got this internship is because I had travelled so much and was very ‘ worldly’.
I also got asked how I would deal with having no Spanish skills, I said because of my experience in developing countries like Indonesia, Peru and. Bolivia I wouldn’t find it hard to work here. I know they have a different pace of life and have already experienced the culture so it wouldn’t be a shock. I said that most of the projects they do I am interested in, such as community development and environmental sustainability. So I see myself fitting in well, being motivated and working well with everyone.
I didn’t receive feedback officially for my interview but the women said at the time that I seem like a great fit because my interest are in direct line with what they do. I found the internship through the website global nomadic. They list a bunch a volunteering and internships around the world. Very useful website.
In you uni course, what do most people want to do?
Most people wanted to either do Government work, like policy stuff, or NGO work, which is what I want to do. I ultimately want to work for an NGO .
So is interning the next step for everyone?
You need to get the right intern… it’s not just volunteering, I’m actually given a project and responsibilities that I have to do.
That will contribute the Runa’s work. I’m writing a proposal on how to encourages more women participation in the Guayusa cooperatives (Guayusa is the tea they grow and sell) and most of the Guayana farmers are women, but all expect one cooperative president is a man. So I’m going to talk with women sub committee members and I’ve already interviews the one woman president, and ask them how women can get more involved. Then I’m going to research other case studies on how women have been incorporated more into cooperatives and see if there methods can apply to runa. So in the end I will write up a proposal for Runa on what they can maybe do, or what things they can help facilitate that will help women participation.