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Catherine interns at GNS Science: what she learnt about herself

Catherine Sangster Hello, my name is Catherine, and over the summer of 2017/2018 I was an intern at GNS Science, Te Pū Ao. GNS Science conducts geoscience and isotope research and provides consultancy services. I was working in the regional geology department.

During my placement I was involved in a variety of projects, such as digitising borehole data and old maps as part of urban mapping projects in Wellington and Auckland, writing python scripts to automate tasks and process data, and helping to curate PETLAB, the National Rock and Geoanalytical Database.

I learnt how to apply design thinking in the work place, matching my colleagues needs with what is technologically feasible. I furthered my ability to effectively problem solve, selecting appropriate tools for the task at hand. Solving real world problems in GNS allowed me to prove to myself that in the workplace I can work independently. I learned to balance instruction with self-direction and initiative.

This internship showed me that someone like myself can function at a high level in the workplace. I have managed my disability to a level where it has little impact on my value as an employee. This has given me the confidence to step out of the academic world.

None of this would have been possible without the practical support of Be.Employed. The most crucial support provided by Be.Employed was the help in making connections. Sarah, a brilliant relationship manager, gave me motivation to actively look for opportunities and support to reach out. I also found the CV advice and the PepTalk employment workshop helped me to increase my own marketability. I am very grateful to have been given this opportunity.