Gemma Pol

Social Science
Summer 2018

Nervous and exited in equal measure, I began my internship via the Aurora Internship Program at the Aurora Education Foundation in mid-November. I was greeted by all of the staff and immediately felt comfortable, included and welcome. I was placed with the Digital Innovation and Scholarships team, which had been working predominantly on developing the Indigenous Scholarships Portal as well as building Aurora’s social media presence. 

My first week as an intern at Aurora was eventful, and a truly valuable learning experience. I answered web enquiries, did data exports through Excel, wrote inspirational stories about Aurora alumni, and transferred information from Aurora’s old website (The Aspiration Initiative) to their new, rebranded platform. My supervisors were very generous with their time, answering my questions and assisting me whenever I was a bit confused.

It was in the following weeks when some of my delegated tasks became a bit more like projects. I was given the opportunity to draft Aurora’s Social Media Strategy, a Media Kit for 2018, and their Social Media Policy. It felt great to be given this much responsibility and decision-making power as an intern, and a lot of the tasks allowed me to be creative and innovative. Completing these tasks and receiving positive feedback was one of the most rewarding aspects of the internship.

I must say, receiving Commonwealth funding played a huge role in allowing me to stay in Sydney for 5 weeks to complete this internship. The funding was used to pay for my travel from Queensland, my meals, my daily travel expenses and my accommodation, and without it I would not have been able to experience such a fulfilling and valuable placement. I am so grateful for this financial support, because now that I have developed my practical skills, I feel empowered to go back to University and excel in my courses.

My overall experience at Aurora exceeded my expectations of what an internship would be like by a tremendous measure. I highly recommend this organisation as a Host, as there is nothing quite as rewarding than working in the not-for-profit sector for a meaningful cause.