Jan Noya is currently studying a Bachelor of Arts with a Bachelor of Economics, majoring in International Studies and Politics. At the end of 2018, Jan completed a professional overseas internship in Fiji through Project Everest. He is also the President of the Adelaide University Filipino Club.
Jan wanted to gain international experience, as a lot of his friends and professional mentors had told him that his degree was highly competitive. While looking for internships, Jan came across the provider Project Everest, which offered him the opportunity to gain international experience while also creating social impact.
Prior to his Project Everest internship, Jan had experience travelling overseas. “Usually when I travel, I only get to go to the tourist spots that everyone has mentioned before. So, I never really get to see the real life in the country. But this experience showed me a different side to Fiji. We lived in a shared house in a rural area, and every time we met locals, we got to observe the local life and culture more.”
When we asked Jan about the highlights of his time with Project Everest, he told us: “I went for a meeting with a stakeholder and I was pressured to answer tough questions. However, with the training I was given by Project Everest, I managed to answer them confidently. I also visited a village and was welcomed with great hospitality. I heard farmers’ stories that were so touching.”
“I learnt so much about myself. Last September, I started the Adelaide University Filipino Club. The pressure made me question myself as to whether I was confident or competent enough for the tough position of being club president. During my time overseas though, I learned so much about my leadership skills, as well as how I interacted with people. At some point, I realised my dedication and hard work is not only my greatest strength, but greatest weakness as well, and I think many of my team members also felt that burden. This lead to me reassessing how I needed to be mindful of the people around me. Now, I’m taking everything that I learnt and experienced in Fiji and am applying it back here in Adelaide.”
The opportunities that arose from taking part in the Project Everest internship came from within the program itself: “They offer further training through Team Leader training, Business Development training, and more. I’ve recently just completed my training for Sales and Marketing, and now I will be presenting in lectures and events.”
“I was never the confident and determined person that I am now. But, the experience and situations I had to face while overseas in a developing country, where essential utilities may not be accessible, helped me to develop valuable skills. During my time away from ‘luxuries’, I found that there will always be miscommunications and hard situations, but you just have to think on your feet and come up with a solution. While in a country I’m not familiar with, I also started to think creatively, be more resourceful, and never give up.”
He hopes to work for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) in the future, specialising in East Asian trade and international security. “I don’t specifically have a plan, but I’ve been searching for opportunities to broaden my experience. I’ve written articles for the Organisation for World Peace to gain the opportunity to use my university knowledge and theories. I’ve also completed an internship with Workforce Blueprint, researching and studying international workforces and education systems, and of course I’ve completed the Project Everest internship. I want to continue getting international experience by learning more practical work, and I hope to do an internship with an organisation that focuses on East Asian studies.
In the next six months, Jan hopes to lead and grow the Filipino Club effectively through creating a large range of social events, and apply for exchange to South Korea to further broaden his international experience.