Maral shares her internship experience in Mumbai

Maral was one of five University of Auckland students to be awarded a Prime Minister's Scholarship for an 8-week internship in Mumbai. She interned with Sumeet Nagdev Dance Arts in Mumbai. This is her story!

"Living in a new country can be challenging and overwhelming but, for me, it was the best experience. The noisy and busy city with bustling streets that initially made me feel lost, ended up being my second home. I would do it all again if I could!

"CDES managed the internship selection and preparation. It was great to have other students from the University to travel with, making the experience less daunting and a chance to share a unique adventure with a group of new friends!

"My role, during my internship, was as an “Artist Manager” at a major dance company. During my internship, I was given the chance to experiment in the field of marketing rather than my field of study which was health. I have always had a passion for marketing and management, and this journey allowed me to understand how the industry works. This opportunity allowed me to reconnect with my performing arts roots through exploring the world of music and dance, all whilst travelling a new country as a manager.

"I was confronted with the realities of health inequity and other disparities while in India. I learned about the economy and the impact the different governments can have, as well as the importance of grasping every opportunity presented. Interning in India gave me a new perspective on public health for populations, global business, and the importance of networking. I was able to build sustainable relationships that I look forward to utilising soon for new projects. This wild experience is one that has shaped my future career. I am now more focused on combining my love for business and health, rather than having to choose between my passions.

"As someone who has always lived in a Western country, I loved the change that living in India brought. Mumbai is such a beautiful city, and completely different from Auckland. I got to explore a new side of the world through India’s culture, food, music, and history that is so different and amazing. It was a new experience that I welcomed with open arms and gained so many valuable life skills from. Especially professional experience, through working in an environment that differs from how New Zealand companies are run.

"I was lucky enough to explore Mumbai in the evenings and on the weekends to learn more about the architecture and history. As part of my internship, I was fortunate enough to travel for two funded company performances, where I got to explore both Delhi and Gujarat. With the other interns, I planned two-weekend trips; one to Dehli and Agra to see the Taj Mahal and another to Goa. We were fortunate enough to sight-see and discover traditional food, music and art festivals where I could immerse myself in the culture. It was amazing to both live and work in India as a local, while also taking time to travel as a tourist.

"My main take-aways from this experience are to always go into a new situation with an open mind, be spontaneous and live in the moment! If you are in a new country, get off your phone and spend time getting to know the locals, walking around the neighbourhoods, and tasting every possible dish; the food in India is DELICIOUS.

"I, one hundred percent recommend doing an overseas internship. It opens your eyes to a new way of life and is an exciting adventure. I gained a different perspective of life. I am grateful to have been chosen by The University of Auckland to be an ambassador for our University and country."

Want to find out more about opportunities available to you, and after university? Be sure to check out MyCDES, and the CDES website!