An online intern

COVID-19 has changed the way many of us learn and work. A group of students at Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington are at the forefront of adapting to a changing world as they undertake internships online next trimester.

Since 2013, the Wellington Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences has run a course giving students from across the university the opportunity to take up an internship in a public sector agency, private sector establishment, or a non-governmental organisation to complete a project.

In that time, nearly 300 students have worked with over 100 mostly Wellington-based organisations. Now for the first time, students will be able to undertake their internships online which means that they can work for organisations based across New Zealand and Australia.

Past internship projects have involved event planning, policy research and analysis, marketing and communications, social media, writing articles, database management, video production, volunteer coordination, and community engagement.

Course coordinator Carine Stewart says that over the last few years the University has seen an increase in more organisations moving to online working arrangements, but this has been accelerated recently because of COVID-19.

“We think online internships are a great opportunity to help students gain skills related to working online, which will be increasingly sought after as they move into their careers.

“Students may be able to make important contributions to workplaces who are new to an online working environment—for example, exploring collaboration tools or creating an online induction programme.”

Melissa Wastney from Read NZ Te Pou Muramura knows how important it is to be flexible with working arrangements after the building she worked in needed to be closed for earthquake repairs.

This meant her student intern from Victoria University of Wellington was required to quickly switch to working remotely as well, and while Ms Wastney acknowledged that working remotely wasn’t the ‘normal’ experience, it turned out to be a great experience.

“All sorts of things can happen in life—from earthquakes to COVID-19 lockdown. It’s important to acknowledge that working remotely is a different way of working and it’s good to be adaptable and flexible with work routines and arrangements.”

The internship placement consists of 75 to 100 hours of unpaid work, as well as lectures, readings, and assignments. Students will reflect on, share, and discuss what they have learned in the workplace.

If you are interested in finding an intern through Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington, you can contact

More information about the Wellington Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences Internship can be found online: