News 22 Nov 2018
One of the New Zealand-sponsored Pacific and Timor Leste undergraduate scholars who will be spending her summer interning in some of New Zealand’s and Pacific reputable organisations is Kiribati student Merari Nelson (pictured fourth from the left). The Summer Internship programme, now in its fourth year is an initiative facilitated by the Pacific Cooperation Foundation (PCF) in partnership with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Merari tells PCF what the internship means to her.
After the initial excitement Merari felt, when selected as one of PCF’s Summer Interns for 2018-19, a sense of apprehension.
“I felt so happy when I was chosen, but then got a bit nervous about what’s ahead,” she says.
“One of the main reasons I applied was because I wanted to improve my communication skills and gain confidence from it. This internship gives me an opportunity to do so.”
Merari is studying a Bachelor of Commerce at Lincoln University and is being hosted by NIWA (National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research).
With her home nation at the crisis end of climate change due to rising sea levels, with Kiribati and its near neighbour Tuvalu the most vulnerable, Merari is looking to see what skills she can acquire which may one day help her home nation.
“I’ve always had an interest in understanding how New Zealand industries and the global market operate, especially the food industry,” she says.
“I would then be able to apply qualitative and quantitative analysis skills that I’ll gain from this internship to help my home country’s development.”
PCF Programme Development Manager Linda Kaua with Merari Nelson
PCF CEO Craig Strong emphasises the tremendous opportunities all the PCF Interns have over the summer and stresses it is up to each and every intern to make the most of it.
“You are all representatives for your university or tertiary institution and you are all ambassadors for the country you come from,” he said at the official welcoming of interns at MFAT’s Auckland office.
“And remember we are all ambassadors for our region, the Pacific. So it’s important that we show pride in the work that we do. How you perform in that role will impact on those following, so it’s up to you to leave it in a better place.”
Self-motivation and a sense of urgency are essential traits to those striving to be the Pacific leaders of tomorrow.
“Be urgent and look for the work … ask for it,” he says.
“Don’t just turn up and expect it all to be handed to you. Create some goals that you want to achieve every day. And when your internship is over and you leave, make sure you know in your heart of hearts that you’ve added value to your hosts, you leave with our blessings and you’ve made us proud.”