Thandi is a postgraduate student at the University of Melbourne and she recently completed her internship virtually with the Marketing Communications team.
Tell us a bit about yourself and why chose to complete your internship at Oxfam Australia
I’m about to finish my Masters of Global Media Communication at the University of Melbourne. I have a background in journalism and have always loved writing and speaking. I was raised with a passion for people. Growing up in Zimbabwe, my parents encouraged us to give to others when we could and to serve those in need. A change to the humanitarian sector seemed appropriate when I chose to step away from journalism. I chose to intern at Oxfam because I was familiar with the work it does in Southern Africa. I wanted to get a view of what it’s like from the inside so when the opportunity arose I jumped on it.
When did you start your internship placement and what does your role involve?
I started at the beginning of September. I’m the ‘Content Opportunities and Channel Strategy Intern’ with the Marketing Production team who are a great group of people. My role has been focusing on the four thematic pillars and planning content to address each one while establishing Oxfam as an involved organisation. The key to what I’ve been doing has been looking into all the amazing work Oxfam Australia does and finding ways to get that info out to our various audiences and stakeholders.
What has been your best experience as an intern so far?
If you ask anyone who knows me I don’t think of myself as an ideas person. I’m usually the person who supports other people’s ideas. I’ve been challenged by being in a role which is all about coming up with ideas and envisioning what things could look like. I’ve come to learn that I do have good ideas and if I have a deadline and a group of people counting on me then those ideas do come out. I am also a huge fan of everyone on my team because of how accommodating they’ve been as I’ve learnt more about the organisation, the sector and marketing. Some days have felt like it’s a matter of sink or swim but I’ve loved learning to swim with Oxfam.
What do you like to do when you are not tackling poverty with Oxfam?
I volunteer a lot! So, in normal circumstances I volunteer at the Missionaries of Charity soup kitchen in Fitzroy. They provide meals and a safe space for homeless and lonely men. The community there is fantastic and I’ve missed them during the lockdown. I also have been learning aikido which is a Japanese martial art. It’s built my self-confidence and it’s made me fear humility a little less (even the most senior person ends up pinned on the ground by a rookie at some point). I help run an online women’s community called Blessed Is She with some friends. I also write short fiction stories which is what I’ve loved since I was a child. My quarantine hobbies have been learning modern calligraphy and baking biscuits. One day I’ll master the art of the German pretzel.
Any final thoughts on your time at Oxfam Australia?
I’ve enjoyed every moment of my time at Oxfam. Everyone has been a joy to work with and I’ve appreciated working with people who genuinely care about the work they do and the people they impact. I’m grateful for the opportunity to be a part of this amazing organisation and look forward to seeing an end to poverty.