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PACE internship advances slow fashion career goals

23 June 2023

A summer internship led to a job that is now furthering University of Canterbury graduate Josie Tricker’s dreams to positively impact people’s clothing choices.


Taking part in UC’s PACE Programme as part of her studies has been a very rewarding experience for UC Psychology student Josie Tricker, whose summer internship with Christchurch Envirohub was followed by a job offer with the trust.

In her third year of studying at Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha | University of Canterbury (UC), Josie Tricker was fascinated by a paper on Environmental Psychology that explored behaviour change and ways to promote responsible environmental behaviour.

It was a theme she pursued into a Bachelor of Arts Honours in Psychology, with her thesis focussed on ways to promote sustainable fashion choices.

Having started her postgraduate studies last July, she approached her supervisor about the possibility of doing a summer internship aligned with her interests. This paved the way to her securing a PACE (Professional and Community Engagement) internship with Christchurch Envirohub, a charitable organisation that connects and supports environmental and sustainability organisations.

UC’s PACE Programme, open to all disciplines, enables students to apply their learning and develop workplace skills while also earning academic course credits.

As a charitable trust with a small team, Christchurch Envirohub was able to offer Josie plenty of opportunities to grow, hone her skills and show initiative. As well as assisting with administration, communications and social media, Josie was entrusted to plan and deliver a ‘Green Drinks’ event that was well-attended and received.

“Everyone really loved it and we are now running these every few months,” she says. “PACE has been really supportive along the way too, giving advice when needed, for example on networking.”

Josie also completed research during her internship on a school programme teaching children about eels and clean river environments.

At the end of the internship, Josie was hired by Christchurch Envirohub to work part-time around her studies. Josie has a social media platform that promotes slow fashion and has now partnered with Christchurch Envirohub to run regular clothing swap events.

“One of the last PACE assignments we did was writing a CV and covering letter for a job we would love to do. I ended up applying for a job with a second-hand clothing company in London because it was such a perfect fit for me.”

Whether or not she gets the job, Josie feels very well-equipped to progress her sustainable fashion goals and recommends the PACE Programme to other students.

Christchurch Envirohub Trust Manager and UC alumni Ben Alder says Josie secured the internship as she was clearly motivated, capable and ready to utilise her skills to gain invaluable workplace experience.

“What’s good about PACE is you can always find students who align with your needs. As the employer, you do need to be flexible with students’ time, but it is well worth it.”

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