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Wellington Zoo Welcomes Second Stanford MBA Intern

Wellington Zoo Welcomes Second Stanford MBA Intern

Wellington Zoo recently hosted Amanda Johnson, an MBA student at Stanford University in California, through the Global Management Immersion Experience (GMIX) – an internship programme that encourages MBA students to gain hands-on international management experience.

Amanda spent four weeks at Wellington Zoo developing a partnership evaluation model, examining the Zoo’s various partnerships.

“I was immediately interested in the opportunity to intern at Wellington Zoo. I’m interested in hospitality and tourism so I knew I wanted to work with a company that had those elements. New Zealand is such a beautiful part of the world too, so it was a great opportunity to travel somewhere new, and experience a new culture,” says Amanda.

The project itself also appealed to Amanda, who has previous experience in the non-profit sector, “Having worked with non-profits, and companies that fund non-profits, I saw an opportunity with this project to jump straight in, and contribute something meaningful.”

“I’ve also had a chance to work on another project too. With both of these projects my goal was to bring clarity to the process, to help the Zoo make informed choices. Part of the challenge is to not just deliver a template; you also have to make sure that it works within the existing context.”

Amanda was impressed with Wellington Zoo while here too, “Before I arrived I’d heard so much about how laid-back Kiwis were, I’ve been really impressed with how dedicated and driven the staff are here – and everyone is so positive!”

Amanda also made the most of her time in New Zealand, “I’ve been exploring the city, and making the most of the weekends to see other parts of New Zealand. I’ve travelled to Auckland, Nelson, the Hawkes’ Bay, and even to Napier to see an All Blacks game.”

Reflecting back on her time she says that something she will takeaway is how important it is for non-profits to value themselves and what they offer. “For non-profits there’s a temptation to just be happy with what someone wants to give you, but you do have to value yourself as an organisation and what you contribute too.”

Amanda is the second intern to come Wellington Zoo as part of the GMIX programme, following Sean Phillips who spent four weeks at the Zoo last year developing a Human Resources model.

Stanford University contacted Wellington Zoo to discuss intern hosting after Wellington Zoo Chief Executive Karen Fifieldattended their Graduate School of Business Executive Programme for Non Profit Leaders in Palo Alto, California, in March 2009.


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