A day in the life of a Mara intern

Hello! My name is Jen

This past month I became the Communications and Engagement Intern at Mara Consulting. I’ve had my fair share of internships in the past; some were great, and some were far from. As a current postgraduate student, I wanted to be a bit more picky when it came to landing an internship. This time around I was looking for a position that would expand on my existing skills and challenge me to break out of my comfort zone while also giving me room to grow as I complete my master’s degrees. I found just what I was looking for (and more) at Mara.

Photo of Mara intern Jenny Hanson

Bold, different, playful

I knew as soon as I walked out of my interview that Mara is anything but ordinary.  The final component of the interview process was an interactive LEGO® Serious Play® session where I was instructed to answer the question: ‘where do you see yourself in five years’ using LEGO building materials. This exercise demonstrated what Mara is all about: being bold, different and playful as well as illustrating Mara’s fantastic company culture.

My visual representation of ‘Where do you see yourself in five years’ using LEGO building materials. My piece shows me (in the hardhat) working my way up the corporate ladder while breaking down barriers that exist for women in business. The various components in the ladder show me completing my master’s degrees (gaining knowledge, represented by the owl), finding a rewarding career path that does not solely focus on money (represented by the cash near the bottom), my keen interest in sustainability and climate action (represented by the green grass), and never losing my sense of wonder and creativity (represented by the elephant at the end of the ladder).

Not your typical internship

Jen letterboxing with Mara's MD
Aiding Mara's MD Kelly with a letterboxing campaign.

Mara is a unique workplace that encompasses a broad range of services that are inherently intertwined, employing a diverse team with varied backgrounds. Over the first three weeks of my internship I have worked on a range of different projects with various members of the Mara team. These have included assisting with focus groups for community housing strategies, helping to create content for social media and website platforms, and even aiding the MD Kelly with letterboxing campaigns and intercept interviews for upcoming development applications. Of equal importance are the duties I am NOT doing as an intern: running errands, answering the phone and fetching coffees. (We have our own Barista/Lead Landscape Architect, Urban Designer and Environmental Planner, Tadd)!

Real-world experience

So far being an intern in the Mara team has exceeded my expectations in nearly every way. Unlike some of my past internships, no two days are ever the same. I get to play a supporting role in projects benefiting the local community.

By exposing me to these large-scale projects firsthand, I am learning how to apply what I learn in the classroom to the complex, real-world issues affecting our surrounding communities.

I am so grateful to the entire Mara team for working with me (around my busy Uni schedule) to support my goals in a supportive, collaborative environment!