Anna Zam

Anna undertook an internship with SpringboardTrust as part of the Faculty of Arts internship course.

Anna Zam

“The research project I undertook for my internship addressed an issue which SpringboardTrust wanted to solve: how to engage and communicate effectively with parents from diverse cultural backgrounds in New Zealand primary schools.

“My challenge was to research global best practices on how schools can overcome this challenge, to form a resource guide for New Zealand teachers.

“The key learning process for me throughout this project was identifying how conduct and discourse in the academic context differs to working as a professional in the work place. Surprisingly, projects in the workplace are far less formal and technical than academic work!

“I was constantly editing my research to simplify and condense the information down to become much more user-friendly for busy professionals.

“I learnt quickly how to develop initiative, be a self-starter and work independently — tracking my own work to meet the final deliverable date. The project culminated in creating my first Executive Summary.

“At times the internship was largely self-directed and — in direct contrast to an assignment — there was no lecturer setting the formal parameters of the project. While this was scary at first, I enjoyed the independence and freedom to make decisions regarding the project’s content and presentation.

“While I was assigned a mentor, everyone I met in the organization were extremely approachable and willing to give guidance or answer my questions. My relationship with my mentor felt like a collaboration where she and I would bounce ideas off each other. She was exceptionally encouraging and gave me great insight into her day-to-day work schedule.

“The internship course as helped me to think about the transferrable skills which are developed through Arts study. One large component of this is applying our research and communication skills to solving real world problems.

“This experience has also highlighted how vital networking and teamwork skills are in the workplace. Interestingly, everyone I met in the organisation came from different backgrounds, which helped broaden my view of the career pathways out there.”

Find out more about the Faculty of Arts internship course.