More than meets the eye: Bhaavya Mylavarupu

Department of Conservation —  11/08/2021

We recently launched a new series on the Conservation blog – More than meets the eye, where we share the untold stories of our staff, their mahi and their experiences at the Department of Conservation/Te Papa Atawhai.

Today we chat with Bhaavya Mylavarupu, an intern at Te Papa Atawhai during summer 2020/2021. Placed within the Outcomes Management Unit, Bhaavya’s story reflects on her family values which drove her to apply for the internship programme.

Watch the video or scroll down to read Bhaavya’s story.

What is something unique about you?

Something that is unique to me is that I grew up immersed in a family that valued volunteering. My family always gave up their time to serve others and this became a huge part of who I am today. For example, my family and I would volunteer at retirement villages and sing to the elderly, participate in beach clean ups and community trees planting.

It was these sets of family values and experiences that drove me to find work experience with a similar passion, and that’s when I came across Te Papa Atawhai’s summer internship programme.

I already knew about some of the work Te Papa Atawhai does, and I knew it was an organisation that was passionate about Papatūānuku and its people. For that reason, I applied and I successfully landed a role within the Outcomes Management Unit.

Find out more about the Summer Internship Programme

Tell us more about your job

As a summer intern within the Outcomes Management Unit, I was exposed to various work agendas and opportunities. Each opportunity was an occasion for me to develop my professional and personal skills.

A few highlights of my mahi included providing sustainability data for an environmental firm, providing feedback for the 2021 select committee questions, and contributing to Te Papa Atawhai’s 10-year goals.

At the end of my internship, I gave a presentation of everything that I had learned, the work I had done and achieved. This was an incredible opportunity to reflect on everything I had done with my team.
I was afraid of no challenge, and I believe that my exposure to various task enabled my skillsets grow. As an outcome, I was able to execute and deliver all my tasks. This was immensely satisfying, but it would not have been possible without the support of my team.

Bhaavya and friends enjoying te taiao/nature

What did you enjoy about you job?

As an intern, one of my highlights was the relationships that I created and found from my time at Te Papa Atawhai. Most importantly, the small Wellington intern group became a close-knit friend group, who all keep in contact to this day. From lunchtime catch-ups to after work dinners, the friendships we created enabled us all to thrive

I believe that our intern group made our experience at Te Papa Atawhai easier. We were able to connect through our experiences as new interns within a government department and support each other along the way.

However, I also credit my incredible mentor Caitriona [Lewis, planning and performance analyst] and the Outcomes Management Unit for their endless support during my time at the organisation. Their welcoming attitude and support for me from my first day enabled me to feel included from my first day. This is something I am extremely grateful for.

What did you like most about Te Papa Atawhai?

My experience at Te Papa Atawhai gave me a great sense of pride. I was able to serve so many others within the Outcomes Management Unit and beyond. I recognised that everyone has a unique role in assisting our partners out in the field.

My work may not be as ‘hands-on’ with nature, but nonetheless I saw how my work was an important part in protecting our natural environments and supporting our communities.

This made me realise that without the work of either group – in office and field workers, our collective goals as an organisation couldn’t be achieved.

I believe it is this passion that is something very rare and unique to Te Papa Atawhai.

The 2020-21 summer interns at Matiu/Somes Island

What’s next?

Following my internship, I took what I had learned from this experience and carried it forward with me. I am now in my final year of studies, working towards a BCom majoring in Marketing and Data Science at Te Herenga Waka Victoria University of Wellington.

My advice for future students across the country is to apply for an internship here at Te Papa Atawhai. Do not be shy, be bold and confident. Carry your unique experience and skills with you because you never know where they might take you!

2 responses to More than meets the eye: Bhaavya Mylavarupu


    A big thank to all volunteers taking all the effort to create something good for the next generation. Spotlight should be shared with these humble every day heroes.
    I came across an article ( the other day that gave me the push for this quick post. Well done guys!


    I have a huge concern about the environment, but never really able to push through my principles. I am glad that there are people like Bhaavya to really look and help us about environment concerns. Cheers!