What it does: A civic and social enterprise that specialises in sustainable entrepreneurship.
Best known for: Project Everest Ventures describes their interns as ‘trekkers’ who engage in overseas work for the company’s sustainable development projects.
Staff stats: 13 full-time employees, plus 35+ marketing team members (contract) and 25-30 in-country leaders and staff on the ground during a project.
The good bits: The company’s internship program allows you to travel and gain experience in sustainable development work from an international perspective.
The not so good bits: With a focus on internships, career growth within the organisation seems uncertain at Project Everest Ventures. A typical internship runs for 2, 4, 8 or 12 weeks, and there’s no guarantee that you can transition as a full-time employee.
Project Everest Ventures started in 2015 with a team of 16 student interns. The company is a certified Social Traders organisation, a B Corporation and a Singularity University Ventures Portfolio Company. These affiliations help them to address one of their primary goals: sustainable entrepreneurship in the developing world. Project Everest Ventures has engaged in social ventures in Australia, Asia, Africa and the Pacific
Some of their initiatives include development work in ag-tech consulting, biomass fuels, energy infrastructure, female hygiene and sanitation, hidden hunger, microfinance, social consulting, solar solutions and sustainable rocket-stoves.
The company recruits students from Australia, New Zealand, Europe, Singapore and the USA several times every year for their social ventures in Australia, Fiji, India, Malawi, Timor-Leste as well as online for virtual internships. Project Everest Ventures streamlines their application process to accommodate a student’s schedule. You only need to apply online and consider taking up the option to book in an initial phone interview.
You’ll take part in a 90-minute group interview where your interaction with others will be assessed. Group interviews can take place at the company’s office, or online. Project Everest Ventures explains that emotional intelligence will be necessary for interns. It’s even more important than your portfolio or even your interview attire, according to the company.
Interns need to complete a full day pre-departure training session before starting their overseas internship. In Australia, the company runs these sessions at training bases near Melbourne and Sydney CBDs. Project Everest Ventures normally conducts the training in May, October and November.
Students can apply for internships all year-round. The organisation’s internships normally take place in January, February, June, July, November, and December. Interns spend two to twelve weeks abroad, domestically within Australia or working virtually online on their assigned venture.
Graduates can also join the company as one of their interns, but they won’t be eligible for any credit and grants from their university. Graduates can choose to become more involved with the company through their team leadership and senior leadership training sessions. These programs, however, entail certain expenses charged by Project Everest Ventures. Other entry-level full-time positions are sometimes available across the organisation, however, they are not guaranteed.
The company requires aspiring team leaders to attend intensive immersion programs and workshops usually scheduled in April and May, respectively, as well as a second intake in September and October. You’ll need to pay AUD5,990 (GST included) for the accredited team leadership training (TLT) program, resulting in obtaining a Certificate IV in Leadership & Management. The non-accredited TLT program costs AUD4,290 (GST included).
Those who are lucky to find full-time roles at the company may earn at least AUD48,000 per year for an entry-level university engagement position. Training coordinators earn the same amount.
Experienced Team Leaders and all Senior Leaders are also paid for their work whilst overseas. Paid casual and contract roles are also available in marketing and recruitment positions throughout the year in Australia-based locations, either in the PEV office or on university campuses, depending on the role.
Trust and impact take front and centre when you join Project Everest Ventures. The company is transparent with the nature of their internships and partnerships. The experience varies based on the type of program you choose, the project you’re working on, and which location your internship takes place in. Whether you are doing a virtual internship or are living with 20 to 40 other people overseas or in rural Australia, you should expect to be engaging with Project Everest Ventures and other students on a daily basis. This is predominantly due to the multidisciplinary, collaborative approach to achieving the company’s goals of democratising development and overcoming complex global challenges.
Internship programs do run over a short period (2-12 weeks dependent on the program) and students should be prepared to challenge themselves for an intensive period of hard work. While it is a challenging experience and not suitable to everybody, the culture of Project Everest Ventures creates a supportive environment conducive to personal and professional development and a memorable social experience.
Project Everest Ventures has been certified by Social Traders as a Social Enterprise, which means that Project Everest Ventures has a primary social, environmental or other purpose which benefits the public; they derive a substantial percentage of their income from trade and they reinvest over 50% of their annual profits towards achieving their social purpose. By taking on an internship with Project Everest Ventures, students not only gain valuable experience and memories, but also the satisfaction that comes from working towards better social outcomes in communities in need.
The adventurous type will find a lot of reasons to join Project Everest Ventures. An internship at the company can broaden your horizon when it comes to sustainable development and opportunities to apply your skills towards a purpose-driven career. Once you gain an in-depth perspective of civic and social work, you should be ready to move on and look for another work opportunity due to limited full-time roles at the company. Be prepared to spend money if you have grown fond of sustainable development. The training programs may require multiple trips, which will reduce your time for personal affairs.
"We believe that tackling global challenges will not be achieved by doing what has always been done before...so we’re doing development differently.
At Project Everest Ventures, our purpose is to solve the world’s social issues through the creation and implementation of sustainable solutions for communities who need it the most. Our projects are aligned to achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, with the aim of enabling 1 billion people and creating a significant social impact, internationally, within Australia, and even via the internet.
We are currently operating across Malawi, India, Fiji, Timor-Leste, and within remote Australian communities. Our ventures cover a huge range of social challenges including environmental sustainability and renewables; healthcare and female sanitation; food security and agriculture; and microfinance and access to capital. Working in collaboration with our Impact Partners, our projects develop alongside some of the best start-ups and impact-driven tech in the industry. Undertaking an internship with Project Everest Ventures exposes you to the experience of building a social enterprise from a grassroots level, and a taste of consulting and international development you won’t gain anywhere else.
Project Everest Ventures is a relatively young organisation, however over just four and a half years we have exponentially expanded to facilitate training, social impact internships, and leadership and management certification for students and graduates across four continents and a range of disciplines. Even with this huge breadth, we highly value the passionate, talented, committed, and close-knit community we have built both in Australia and beyond.
We’re big advocates for breaking the mould, putting existing skills to the test whilst learning new ones, building leaders and enabling growth, and experiencing the impact that can be achieved by a group of committed social entrepreneurs."