Celebrity ambassadors, social media and a friendly cow statue - Zoe shares her highlights from a fortnight of work experience at World Vision Australia.
The innocent question of “What do you want to be when you grow up?” can become an increasingly more daunting and stressful experience over the as you get older. As I begin to consider university degrees and careers, I hope my passion for social justice in all its forms this could become a focus for my future.
Living in the relatively rural town of Albury, opportunities to work alongside and gain a better understanding of organisations such as World Vision can be quite hard to come by. With this in mind, I quite literally jumped at the chance to travel to Melbourne and spend a fortnight at World Vision Australia.
I never really expected World Vision to be so big! There are literally hundreds of people all operating together to make World Vision work. During my two weeks, I met people who work in many of the different teams across World Vision and saw the communication between teams in action. It was amazing to see everyone working with people from all over the organisation to collaborate knowledge and expertise.
From an outsiders perspective, it can be difficult to understand the amount of work that goes on behind the scenes to ensure the success of initiatives such as the 40 Hour Famine. The planning, marketing and monitoring that goes into an event like this is absolutely astronomical. From engaging people with the event, to answering all of the hundreds of questions and queries, the 40 Hour Famine team work on a tight schedule. In the words of one member, “My year literally runs from one 40 Hour Famine to the next 40 Hour Famine. I know you think it’s nearly the end of the year, but we are only about halfway through”. As you can see, organising initiatives of this scale is no small feat.
It was really interesting to see the social media side of the organisation. It turns out that it is a lot more complicated than just picking out a photo and posting it on Instagram! There is so much detail that goes into understanding and communicating with different age groups and audiences.
I loved learning about content collection such as film and photos. To be able to communicate a message through the use of these mediums while creating such an aesthetically perfect image is an amazing skill. I absolutely loved watching the snapshots into the lives of people living in the amazing places where World Vision has been fortunate enough to work.
It was great to get an understanding about the kinds of contributions people celebrity ambassadors such as Hugh Jackman make to organisations like World Vision. ‘Dukale’s Dream’, a documentary about Hugh Jackman’s campaign surrounding Fairtrade coffee gave an insight into the enormous difference celebrity ambassadors can make by using their profile and fan base to raise awareness and support for the issues they are passionate about.
Talking to the youth team, I gained a sense of exactly how difficult it is to market products and campaigns at my age group. The amount of research that goes into understanding people just like me was actually really funny, I had no idea we were so difficult to understand! I had a great time trying to explain the habits of “the youth” to everyone.
I really enjoyed learning about campaigns that are run by people around my age. I am looking forward to being a part of groups such as VGen that are working to end child labour. The fact that there are kids my age working in factories is absolutely shocking. The fact that there are kids my age already making a difference and creating positive change in our world is just so inspiring. I can’t wait to be a part of that change.
Work experience at World Vision has been a truly eye opening adventure. I have learned so much and have taken so many valuable life lessons away from the whole experience. I just wanted to say a massive thank you to everyone that gave up some of their time to teach me about their work.
There are so many ways your career can make an impact in the world – it’s just a matter of finding what you are good at and applying it to support the cause you are passionate about.