What's your job about?
Project Everest Ventures as an organisation is trying to achieve social equity, [with] overseas research and operations conducted by university students. The projects that we run overseas, online and in Australia are designed to give students the most practical and hands on experience in the social development space. You’ll conduct research and analysis, work in a team, plan operations, brainstorm ideas and business plans, pitch your ideas, and engage in weekly workshops, all in the pursuit of a net positive impact. All these roles, while geared for a specific purpose are drawing primarily on soft skills which are endlessly transferrable into any profession. Over the course of the 1, 2 or 3 months that you decide to intern for, you’ll be thrust into various leadership positions and key roles which will dictate the success and quality of the research you conduct. Your ability to adapt to the specific challenges that are unique to each country, place and culture will truly determine how much you get out of the role. You need to have an open and non-prejudicial mindset, ready to both learn and contribute to the communities you are there to try and assist. I say try because above all the goal of the job is not to impose a western viewpoint of success on another culture but to identify potential shortcomings in the way processes are conducted and formulate suggestions for how things could be improved at their behest.
What's your background?
I grew up in Melbourne with two artist parents whose background in restaurant ownership lead to a combined upbringing of creativity and strong work ethic. I was always encouraged to forge my own path and fuel my own fire. As a result, most of my choices both in school, university and life were my own. After completing high school, I took an already fosters curiously for the world on a 10-month overseas trip, where I worked in the fast-paced world of decentralised tech, performed charitable work in Africa and travelled to 23 countries across 4 continents. Those experiences shaped who I am today and informed the kind of life I wanted to lead. Mid-way through my second year of university I came across an email which outlined an overseas internship that involved working on a start-up project in a developing country. I looked through the various projects they were running, submitted my name, and a few months later I was in India! My experience trekking at Project Everest suited me down to the ground. Everyone who went on the trip was intelligent, passionate and committed to positive change. From my time there I met lifelong friends and felt part of a community of people that shared incredibly similar values.
Could someone with a different background do your job?
Absolutely, there is not mould that fits perfectly and mine is certainly not a prerequisite for the internship. What you need most to work at Project Everest is enthusiasm, a humanitarian sentiment, communication skills, people orientation, and work ethic.
What's the coolest thing about your job?
The coolest thing about the internship was developing such a comprehensive understanding of a topic matter in such a short period of time. By meeting real people who are working under various socio-economic conditions, scale of operation, and stages of the agricultural supply chain, you were able to gain deep knowledge of the sector and its unique problems, successes and points of difference. To my curious brain this was an incredible opportunity.
What are the limitations of your job?
If you’re looking for an internship that you can clock in and make some money over holidays, without much care for what happens in those hours, besides looking good on your resume. This won’t be a good job fit. The hours can be long or short, uplifting or grinding. If you require certainty and regularity you won’t feel comfortable. Each day you are in a position where the outcome of the project and the direction for week is completely dependent on you and your team’s ability to make a plan; with limited resources, in a foreign country and with people you’ve just met. If you’re looking for office experience that will advance your hard skills stack, then this is unlikely to help. While there are certain administrative duties you perform, they are not the focus and you would likely be better served in a more traditional business role.
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