What's your job about?
Project Everest Ventures runs impact internships for university students in developing countries across the world (Fiji, Malawi, Timor-Leste and India). Basically, you travel to one of the countries we operate in and experience a whole new world for a month, while working on some amazing projects aimed to reduce inequalities in the community. The project I worked on helped to reduce the respiratory issues caused by smoke inhalation in Fiji. There are a variety of projects, and multiple projects run every operating month, so you get to see a great variance in responsibilities, progress and achievements across the month.
Typical days involve working in the project team to determine the future of the project, planning meetings with villages, and designing surveys and posters, with a bit of cheeky banter on the side. All in one day on project I visited a village, met with more locals to translate an advertisement, designed that same ad, devised a quick solution for transporting our team’s product and participated in ‘Thoughtful Thursday’. Each day has a unique spin and charm about it, and such a passively chaotic environment has the potential to spark great creativity and personal growth.
What's your background?
I grew up in a suburban town outside Canberra with a great country town atmosphere. I’ve been lucky to have grown up in such a diverse setting that I thought there wasn’t much more to discover in this world – and I could not have been so wrong. Schooling life I went through two public schools, so I’ve seen a lot of personalities from all walks of life.
Once I found my way to university, I set upon completing an engineering degree, as it gave me the greatest inspiration for my future and tools to use to get to where I dreamed I could end up. That dream began with me exchanging to America to develop new skills and make greater connections, but when a Project Everest Ventures representative presented the opportunity in one of my otherwise-ordinary lectures, I had a feeling this may give me that advantage to finally set foot on the path I wanted.
When November of 2019 came around, I travelled to Fiji for just over a month for this internship, and had my life changed completely. My confidence came back, I realised that I have valuable experience outside of the internship, and that I could really achieve anything I set my mind to. It was just one month but it has given me great opportunities and experiences that I wouldn’t trade for the world.
Could someone with a different background do your job?
Absolutely! This job has an amazing variety as an integral part of the projects, and no one person will be experienced with everything. There’s a major focus on self-development in this internship, along with the fact that you are helping to change the world for the better.
As an engineering student, I had little experience with public speaking, business administration and marketing a product, but I could tell you the specifics of why our project worked and why it was being implemented. Everyone could do this job, in the way that it would challenge your current understanding and give you amazing experience outside of what you may have already learnt.
What's the coolest thing about your job?
For me the best part was the people. Specifically, the locals I met during the village visits and about the town we lived in gave me such a different understanding of the world – it was a great contrast to my suburban life and really grounded me in reality.
What are the limitations of your job?
This internship involves travelling to a developing nation for just over a month, living away from a fair amount of luxuries you may be used to. No air conditioning is one thing, but when the water main breaks down somewhere in town and the whole area goes without running water, it doesn’t get easy.
Living with a large group of people may not be for everyone too. If you don’t work well when around others nearly 24/7 then it gets stressful to function, but we try our best to support everyone and their struggles, regardless of what they may be facing.
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