6 March 2015

Industry Placement Program: Interning with the Australian National Committee for UN Women

I recently had the privilege of spending 6 weeks interning with the Australian National Committee for UN Women, as part of the Business School’s Industry Placement Program.  The Australian National Committee for UN Women is one of 17 National Committees globally that raises funds and awareness for UN Women.  UN Women Australia also advocates for gender equality in Australia and abroad by engaging with the private sector, government and community groups.   

January and February were very exciting months to be in the UN Women office, as the team was busily preparing to host International Women’s Day (IWD) events in 6 capital cities across Australia which took place today.  These annual events are high profile opportunities to fundraise for UN Women’s work in the Pacific, to promote gender equality in Australia and to publically engage with our corporate sponsors and partners.  After returning to Sydney, I was able to attend the Sydney Breakfast as a guest of the University of Sydney Business School, who is the NSW education partner of the Australian National Committee for UN Women.

During my internship, I completed several projects including a comprehensive website audit and marketing strategy for our IWD merchandise, while also supporting the events to prepare for our IWD events.  The internship has enabled me to ‘put theory to the test’ and build on the knowledge of International Business and Management that I have gained through my university studies.

One of the most rewarding experiences was having a morning tea with Mele Maualaivao, Country Program Coordinator for UN Women in Samoa and the Pacific.  Hearing Mele speak about UN Women’s fantastic projects to increase women’s financial empowerment and political participation in our region was inspiring.  The entire team was even more motivated to deliver fantastic IWD events after hearing the impact of UN Women’s projects.  Other highlights of my placement were meeting the UN Women Board President, Elizabeth Shaw, working with volunteers at the National Multicultural Festival in Canberra, and attending meetings at Parliament House and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). 

Interning with UN Women has accelerated my professional development.  I have received fantastic exposure to the non-profit sector and have identified further career paths in government and business that interest me.  I also have a much broader understanding of politics and policy (a natural consequence of living in Canberra!), and a deeper understanding of how government and businesses can work together to create greater positive social impact.  

On a personal level, this internship has cemented my passion for women’s empowerment and gender equality.  I am proud to have worked for an organisation whose mission and values I wholeheartedly support, and will carry these ideals forward in my future career.  

Madeline Greer
Madeline is a current student at the University of Sydney Business School and recent participant in the Industry Placement Program in which she interned with the
Australian National Committee for UN Women

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