Sunday, September 20, 2015

My Communications Internship Experience

Interested in becoming a Communications intern? Here are some interesting facts for you to know to expand your interest! As an international student from Chicago, Illinois, I came to Massey University with a very open mind when taking part in my Communications internship. Right now, I’m currently working with the student mobility team in the international office to help promote more study abroad and student exchanges with Massey University.

Student Mobility Coordinator Craig Lyons and Communications Intern Allen Riquelme discussing exchange information in a meeting with prospective outbound exchange student.

This experience has been absolutely incredible so far! I've been given my own work space and my own laptop to complete all of my tasks. I've been able to gain so much experience with this internship so far. I've been able to participate in outbound exchange informational and pre-departure sessions. I've also gained experience with shadowing one-on-one meetings with prospective outbound students while also participating in the Clubs Day outbound promotional booth. Along with these experiences, I was also even able to witness the National expedition and Internship Powhiri, which was an amazing traditional Maori welcome ceremony. 

A lot of these experiences have also given me the opportunity to participate in these events on both the Palmerston North and Wellington campus, so it’s been really fascinating to travel to different sites to complete our tasks.

National Expedition and Internship students learning about the traditional Maori culture.

In regards to the projects that I've had experience working on throughout this semester, I've been able to blog about my experiences in New Zealand, conducted and analyzed surveys regarding awareness of student exchanges, and I've even designed promotional flyers for the outbound exchange informational sessions. I will also be interviewing current exchange students to ask about their experiences so far in New Zealand to help increase the promotion for Massey University's student exchange program.

These experiences have truly been amazing because not only do I get to experience seeing these students’ dreams of taking part in a student exchange come true, but my learning experience has really benefited so much from this experience so far. I've been able to meet so many international students here in New Zealand so far. It’s been a really valuable way to build connections internationally as well.

As the only intern here in the international office, I feel so grateful to have obtained this internship opportunity through The School of Communication, Journalism, and Marketing. If anyone has even the slightest interest in taking part in an internship in this field, I highly recommend going for it. This experience will not only help you academically, but it will help you grow emotionally as well. The experiences that you will have truly will help you advance to the next level in your career.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Te Papa Museum Excursion in Wellington

During the past few months, I've had the incredible chance to do so many amazing activities! One of them included having the amazing opportunity to go and explore the very famous Te Papa Museum in Wellington! This was a very exciting cultural experience for me because I was glad that I was able to finally explore what Wellington was known for. Down below are some pictures that I captured from my excursion. Some of them are very emotional and very intense! I hope you enjoy them! Thank you very much!

Monday, August 3, 2015

The Adjustment Phase and New Plymouth Adventures

My second month in New Zealand has been really incredible so far! I feel like I've really gotten the chance to meet so many new friends, especially the local Kiwis! Within the last week, I traveled down to the Wellington campus of Massey University for my internship. It was a really great experience to listen to the advice given in the discussion between the pre-departure students and the returning exchange students! I wish the pre-departure students all the best of luck with their travels!

Also during these past few weeks, I had the amazing opportunity to travel down to New Plymouth with some friends from my international group! I was able to see some beautiful sights of New Zealand, and I had the chance to experience staying in a hostel for my very first time! This whole experience was very worthwhile because I was able to meet people from all around the world and also gain a higher appreciation for this wonderful opportunity that I have set for myself. Check out some pictures of my adventures from New Plymouth down below!

1. The New Plymouth Wind Wand

2. Captured the view on top of Paritutu Rock...this climb was very steep, but very worthwhile.

3. This little puzzle piece had everyone stressing out during my hostel stay in New Plymouth. The point of the game was to get the top square piece all the way to the bottom by appropriately moving the puzzle pieces around. I have yet to meet anyone who has successfully completed this challenge.

4. Tasman Sea Sunset

5. While traveling down the New Plymouth Coastal Walkway, we ran into this little seal resting in the sun. He sure looked comfortable.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

My arrival to New Zealand

I honestly never thought that I would be coming to New Zealand for my study abroad experience! However, I'm so glad I made this decision! These past few weeks in New Zealand have been pretty amazing so far. First off, let me start with the plane ride here. I took a plane from Chicago to Hawaii, which then went straight to Auckland. The flight to Auckland was incredible! Air New Zealand truly treated all of the passengers like royalty, from the free unlimited movie and music access to the free meals and the blankets and pillows, they sure know how to make their guests feel welcome! I was even able to watch Pitch Perfect for the first time, and I was really entertained and impressed! Since this experience was my first time out of the country, I wasn't really sure what to expect. However, I've made so many new international friends. I have a huge passion for learning about new cultures, so I really took this experience as an opportunity to learn about all of these different countries by socializing with my new friends. We've had talks about the differences in food and lifestyles. All of these memorable conversations will always stay close to my heart.

One of my favorite moments so far is having the chance to do some sightseeing while here! I was able to go on a group tour to explore the Manawatu Gorge and see the Te Apiti Wind farm. This whole experience was amazing! I honestly felt like I was in the jungle where King Kong lives! I took so many pictures, but the pictures truly don't do it justice. It was very windy, cold, and rainy, but it was so worth the experience! I would rather take part in this experience in cold weather than not at all. Just having my new friends with me to explore made the whole exploration very worth it. We even went to a nearby restaurant, where I had purchased a Kiwi Burger, which I was told consisted of sheep meat. Also, I went on a group trip to the local farmer's market, and I happened to run into a Smorgasbord Self-Service, which comes from a Swedish descent. I had no idea what this was at first, but then I got really excited when I found out that you payed $6 and could fill up your plate with as much food as you could fit on the plate! I thought it was a great deal! I filled up my plate with a ton of noodles, pot stickers, rice, and fish and chips! The food was incredible and definitely worth going back for! Check out some pictures down below!

          1. Manawatu Gorge

2. Smorgasbord Self-Service and my plate filled with noodles, rice, pot stickers, and fish and chips!

             3. Te Apiti Windfarm

This whole experience is all about opportunity, adventure, and most importantly, learning. I'm currently enrolled in a poetry class, an organizational communications class, a language and identity class, and I'm even taking part in a Communications internship at The School of Communication, Journalism, and Marketing! My experience with this internship has been really amazing so far. I'm currently working to help promote more student exchange and study abroad opportunities with the international office at Massey University. I truly enjoy this internship because it's a job that I could potentially see myself doing in the future. I really want to make students' dreams of studying abroad come true. I want them to know that studying abroad or taking part in a student exchange is truly beneficial for professional purposes and for self-growth. I can't wait for these next few months! This is only the beginning!