“An Eye-Opening Experience”- A Virtual Intern blog by Amelia Nadau, University of the South Pacific (USP)

We love hearing about our interns Virtual Internship experiences. In this blog, Amelia Nadau shares her unique perspective as an intern from the University of The South Pacific in Suva, Fiji.

Vinaka for sharing Amelia, it is absolutely incredible to hear that your experience has driven you to want to make a difference in your local community in Fiji – how inspirational! 🙌⭐

A South Pacific Perspective

My name is Amelia Nadau. I am from Karoko village in Savusavu known as the Hidden paradise in Fiji. I am currently staying in Samoa as I am pursuing my postgraduate diploma in Agriculture in the University of the South Pacific (USP).

I am so blessed and am grateful to be one of the recipient of the Think Pacific Virtual Internship Scholarship. Thank you would never comprehend how thankful I am for this opportunity. I saw the internship advertisement in our student email and I just said to myself I should apply for this as there is no harm in applying but I was happy when I was chosen as one of the student for the USP scholarships.

Internship Highlights

One of the things I loved about the internship is that it kept me busy throughout the semester break and it helped me cope with being homesick (I was supposed to returned back to Fiji during the Christmas holiday but due to COVID-19 travel restrictions I have to spend my Christmas holiday here in Samoa.) 

Moreover, another thing I loved was that it allowed me to come out of my comfort zone and also enabled me to know how to use Slack and Zoom. In doing my Action Project presentation I was finally able to familiarize myself on how to use the Zoom App to professionally record presentations.

A New Perspective

This Virtual Internship also allowed me to read and research more about the market structures in Fiji. It also made me realize the sad reality that most rural farmers face in Fiji, where the middleman gets more profit from their crops than the farmers do. By doing my Action Project it gave me a different perspective about what I want to do once I graduate. This Virtual Internship opened my eyes and made me want to do something that will give back to my people and my community – that is to do something that will help empower the rural farmers to receive a fairer income for their produce.

 

This Virtual Internship opened my eyes and made me want to do something that will give back to my people and my community – that is to do something that will help empower the rural farmers to receive a fairer income for their produce.

 

I grew up in the rural areas and my father is actually a farmer so our major source of income is the money he gets from selling his produce. I only pursued agriculture just to have a career, but it never occurred to me that I can graduate and make a difference. When I started my actions project for The Think Pacific Foundation in partnership with the rural farmers of Vitilevu, it opened up my eyes, allowing me to see that I can make a difference, by empowering rural Fijian communities. I cannot wait to graduate and be back home so I can do something for my community…maybe I will try to do market research for Kava because that is one of the major sources of income for the people in Fiji.

Unexpected Insights

I personally would like to thank Mr. Danny Threapleton for guiding me throughout this 12 weeks’ internship. Furthermore, I was able to learn more about the Fijian culture through culture sessions! Even though I am a Fijian, I did not really know a lot of the things that are discussed on the culture sessions. Another important thing that I learned was to manage my time wisely, despite the fact that I am also volunteering by working in our school piggery and poultry farm. I was able to plan my time to schedule times to watch the zoom recordings uploaded on Slack, to have time for my mentor sessions and to do my action project on time.

Finally, thank you so much (Vinaka Vakalevu) to all the Think Pacific Staff and management for  giving me the opportunity of being a Virtual Intern, I really loved my 12 week Virtual Internship Journey. 

For anyone interested in learning more about Sustainable Development in the South Pacific, why start your journey with our short, free Tubu Challenge? 

We can’t wait to share our passion for Fiji with more inspiring students from around the world 🌏

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