It’s been around six weeks since I started my internship with WWF – New Zealand and so far it’s been nothing but smiles and incredible experiences. From day one I was thrown in the deep end and handed an amazing task which staff at the Wellington based offices had been intending to pursue for some time.
I was asked to spearhead a brand new Peer-to-Peer fundraising campaign whereby we’d encourage as many people throughout New Zealand and further afield to take part in their own unique personal challenges and in the process, raise money for the protection of the worlds most endangered dolphin; the Maui Dolphin.
The Maui Dolphin, which is very similar to the Hector’s Dolphin can only be found off the western coast of New Zealand’s north island. Not only is the Maui Dolphin the rarest dolphin in the world, but it’s also the smallest! Unfortunately due to fishing practices over the past few decades, the numbers of Maui Dolphins have diminished to a frighteningly low level of just 55 . Now the plight of these majestic marine mammals lies firmly in our hands as we fight hard to bring the beautiful creatures back from the brink of extinction.
The project that we’re running is called ‘Challenge 55’ and my outlined jobs were something like as follows;
- Research Peer-to-Peer fundraising
- Research and then decide upon an online fundraising platform
- Contact people of social media influence to acquire their backing
- Secure company endorsements
- Find unique and engaging ways to spread the campaign far and wide
- Take charge of communication relating to Challenge 55
- Provide a plan overview
- Gaining support from the general public/schools/universities
So far, so good. I’ve been knee-deep in this campaign drive and to be honest with you, I’ve never had to write as many emails before in my life. Up to now we’ve managed to lock-in the help and support of some pretty well known New Zealand based YouTubers, as well as direct involvement from Antipodes Skincare and the University of Waikato.
Excitingly we may now also have some potential coverage on TV3’s prime-time evening news show, ‘Story’. If we manage to bag this, it’ll be a fantastic coup, with an incredible amount of attention being brought with it.
So how come I’m doing all this? Well as some of you may know, I study International Business Economics at Fontys International Business School in The Netherlands. (www.fontysvenlo.nl) and as part of my degree I have to complete two separate internships. One in my 3rd year, and another in my 4th year. The fantastic thing about Fontys is that they actively encourage you to push your boundaries and go abroad to challenge yourself even further. Their entire mantra is to ‘denk groeter’ which translates to THINK BIGGER! It’s something I really love about Fontys!
So when I was sitting in Taiwan (again Fontys related) studying for my Minor Abroad, I had to think about where I wanted to complete my internship in the following semester. I just randomly decided “hey, I wanna go to New Zealand… and to see how it feels to be as far away from home as I can possibly be!” and so I set about finding an internship in Wellington.
It wasn’t easy, and I faced many rejections, but when you really want something, you’ll get it in the end if you put in maximum effort. Working for WWF was actually one of my top choices, because it’s a charity which I’ve always had a close love for. It may have taken some pestering in the beginning but I’m so glad they decided to take a chance on me and give me this wonderful position working within the fundraising and operations department. I hope that there decision remains without regret and that I’ve managed to be of some use to them! 😉
Incidentally, if anyone reading this wishes to complete a paid internship in either Australia or New Zealand and you were thinking of going through an agency, please feel free to drop me a message through any of my social media accounts and/or leave a comment below. I have a discount code for a great company called Oztimum Internships and with it you can enjoy €100 off your application fees! They’ll get you an internship!