September 28, 2021
Melbourne University student Zoe reflects on completing a virtual internship with Restless Development in Delhi India.
“My name is Zoe McLeod and I am a third-year Bachelor of Arts student, majoring in Geography, at the University of Melbourne. I completed my internship with Restless Development virtually via their hub in Delhi, India, working on reforming the TEGA (Technology-Enabled Girl Ambassador) program.
I have wanted to work in India since first travelling there in 2017, and still hope to. I knew the internship was going to be conducted virtually before I applied for it, but I was still quite unprepared for the challenges of working online: both in a different sector and cultural context than what I was used to.
Working with two other students helped greatly in navigating communication challenges, and our supervisor was incredibly attentive and supportive of all our questions. However, we were still thrown into an environment we were very unfamiliar with, and this involved quite a bit of ‘stumbling about in the dark’. That being said, I learnt a lot about communication and how important it is to set intentions.
With the online setting and feeling out of our depth, I and the other students were doubtful about our actions having a positive impact. Yet something we learnt from the Restless Development team, who assured us that our work was helpful, is that making an impact often looks differently to what one might expect. It is more often in the simple, everyday, repetitive and sometimes monotonous, tasks, than in big dramatic actions.
Change takes time, and it is often difficult to observe. I feel the Restless Development team in India was a perfect example of this and left me very much inspired. The people I met were committed to creating positive change in their communities, in whatever form was necessary, and this profoundly changed the way I view the non-for-profit sector, I think for the better.”