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Otago Business School Intern: Amanda Navaratne

Amanda-Navaratne"During my time as an Otago Intern with Bupa, I was given the opportunity to work on a multitude of different projects – from interRAI to medication management software pilots to property plans – all of which have given me a unique insight into the business environment of a global healthcare leader.

One year prior, I could not have anticipated the level of personal and professional growth I would have experienced throughout this journey with Bupa Care Services.

The people I have had the privilege of working with have mentored me such that I feel confident in my ability to attempt similar tasks within a different context. Furthermore, working across the portfolio on a range of projects with a significant scope gave me great exposure to internal and external processes far beyond my expectations. Working with government organisations, private suppliers and other stakeholders gave me a unique understanding of the different facets of business and the interplay between various stakeholders.

Before I started the internship, I believed I knew where I wanted to go and knew what my career path was going to be. Now, I understand my strengths and what really interests me – consultancy with the long-term goal of studying towards my MBA and having an executive management role. My mentors have inspired me to follow this path and I hope that one day, I can offer a young person the same experience I was given through this opportunity.

Throughout the journey, there were many challenges and lessons to be learnt. In time, the challenges were overcome and largely addressed through different strategies to ensure I learnt from the experiences that were not ‘best practice’ and many of the triumphs of the internship made those difficult times easier to deal with.

I also completed a presentation to my workplace mentor, manager and colleagues on the findings of the project, which had a positive reception regardless of the fact that the findings were unexpected. This marked the conclusion of my internship with Bupa.

In conclusion, the internship with Bupa Care Services was an opportunity I am incredibly fortunate to have been given. I will never forget the people who guided me through the year at the University and within the organisation. The knowledge and expertise I have gained has been invaluable and from every interaction, I have gained something that I can apply in my career, whether it be skills based, emotional intelligence related or basic advice, my expectations have been exceeded. I leave the organisation with a firm grasp of the areas I need to work on and the strengths I have gained in addition to an outlook of where my future career may be if I continue to build on the experiences, apply and challenge myself.”

Amanda enjoyed her internship experience with Bupa so much she applied for, and won, an internship with a business based in Sydney. Amanda is currently in Australia and will return to the University of Otago to complete her studies when her internship finishes.

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