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PACE internship reinforces skills, builds confidence

27 June 2023

Stepping into a University of Canterbury PACE internship helped a new graduate appreciate how his Arts degree has equipped him for the future.


Taking part in a UC PACE internship led to a part-time marketing role with the Laura Fergusson Brain Injury Trust for James Tempero. Jasmine Harris, the Trust’s Marketing and Communications Manager describes the programme as a win-win.

English and Cinema Studies were favourite subjects for James Tempero when he was studying at Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha | University of Canterbury (UC), but he remembers feeling some uncertainty about future career prospects. Participating in UC’s Professional and Community Engagement (PACE) work-integrated learning programme in his third year seemed a good way to gain some useful work experience though he wasn’t sure what to expect.


Taking up a marketing role with the Laura Fergusson Brain Injury Trust, James was pleasantly surprised to discover how much he could achieve as an intern.

“I worked on the social media and website, writing stories and posts. I quickly realised I had gained a lot of transferable skills in my English degree, critical thinking, problem-solving, and the ability to sit and focus on a task for an extended time. So, while I was working in an unfamiliar field, I was quickly able to learn the skills for the role,” he says.

“I went into it not having a lot of confidence and feeling quite nervous about an office environment. As it turned out, it wasn’t as scary as anticipated and has opened so many doors for me looking to the future.”

At the end of his internship, James accepted a part-time job with the trust and is also studying towards a UC Master of Arts degree in Writing (MWrit).

This year, he’s managing social media marketing for Elmer’s Ōtautahi Elephant Trail, a family-friendly sculpture trail project that will raise money for the Trust’s work supporting people impacted by traumatic brain and other complex injuries throughout Waitaha Canterbury.

“This is my first real job and I think it would be hard to find a better place to work. They have been so supportive – I work with the greatest people!”

Several UC students have been PACE interns with the Laura Fergusson Trust. The trust’s marketing and communications manager, Jasmine Harris, describes it as a win-win as the trust gets much-needed help while students gain real-world experience.

“We have a limited budget and I work part-time, so having these interns is awesome,” she says. “We were thrilled to recruit James to work with us as a marketing and communications assistant. He fits in so well and brings so much to the role, including filming events and doing our social media.”

James says he is looking forward to completing his MWrit at the end of next year while continuing to grow his marketing skills with the trust.

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