For anyone trying to break a caffeine addiction, University of WA international student Anshu Chauhan discovered an unusual coffee alternative during her McCusker Centre for Citizenship internship: puppy cuddles.
“It sounds funny, but if I started to feel a little sleepy at my desk, I would just go over to play with the office dogs,” the Gosnells resident (24) said.
“They are so friendly and excited to see you that I don’t even need coffee.
“There are some guide dogs in training that you cannot distract too much, but others you are allowed to pat. It’s a great stress relief.”
The McCusker Centre for Citizenship placed Ms Chauhan as the Process Improvement Intern at the disability services provider VisAbility (which operates Guide Dogs WA) in Victoria Park from November 2018 to February 2019.
The internship was Ms Chauhan’s first working experience in Australia since she moved to Perth from Dehradun, India in 2017.
“The opportunity appealed to me because I have always been interested in community work,” she said.
“I am recommending to my friends and everyone I know at UWA to apply for an internship with the McCusker Centre for Citizenship.
“I tell them, ‘This experience is going to be nothing less than positive and very rewarding’.
“I have learned so much — not just professional development, but I also feel like I have grown as a person. The team at VisAbility have this amazing motivation inside them to help people and give back to the community. I see that perspective now, and I also have that motivation inside me.”
The day before her required 100-hours was due to be completed; Ms Chauhan’s internship supervisor Anna Presser surprised her with an exciting proposal.
“I was a little gloomy because I knew I had to say goodbye to everyone,” she said.
“Then Anna asked me if I would be interested in an ongoing role with Guide Dogs WA, one day a week. I got very excited and said ‘Yes, of course, I would love that’.”
Ms Chauhan will complete her Masters of Business Information and Logistics Management in July.
“I have fallen in love with this city and am really hoping to stay,” she said.
“Perth has so much natural beauty. I love the view of the river from the UWA campus. When I graduate I will continue working at Guide Dogs WA, which I’m really looking forward to.”