The University of Waikato - Te Whare Wānanga o Waikato
Waikato Management School
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Intern FAQs

Q. Who is eligible to apply?
  • Students with at least B+ average in your courses AND extra-curricular experience.        
Q. Is the grade requirement for every year?
  • No. We are more interested in achievement in the third, fourth and fifth level papers.
Q. If I don’t have a B+ average, can I still apply if I have outstanding work experience, done voluntary work, been on overseas exchange etc.
  • Yes, please apply. If you meet our other criteria you will be asked to attend an interview.
Q. How do I apply?
Q. Is the internship only open to BMS students?
  • No; students from all WMS degrees as well as other university faculties can apply. Special conditions may apply in some qualifications.

Q. Can I do an internship as part of my Honours programme, specialist PG Diploma, or MMS?

  • Yes; but in the MMS the 596 internship paper can only be taken as the 30 point 'outside of the subject' elective paper.
Q. Can I apply in my second year?
  • No. It is better to get those ‘core’ courses completed and some experience before applying.
Q. Can a project be done in a small group rather than on an individual basis?
  • It depends on the project. Some projects are large and complex requiring a skill set that one intern is unlikely to have. For this type of project we look for a team of interns.
Q. Could I do it in a shorter time, say four weeks full time?
  • No. Our projects are challenging and we want you to experience what it is like to go into an organisation over a period of time.
Q. Can I do an internship in an organisation I know?
  • Yes, but we check to ensure the project meets our criteria.
Q. Is it restricted to Hamilton students?
  • No. We have interns from our Tauranga campus.
Q. Can I do one overseas?
  • Yes. We have off-shore internships, and want to do more of these.
Q. Is the internship paid or unpaid?
  • In New Zealand, our internships are generally unpaid although sponsors often cover costs such as travelling. Offshore, sponsors usually contribute to living costs.
Q. So how does it work in practice?
  • You submit your application: CV, letter of application and academic transcript
  • You get  a short interview at which we either say ‘Welcome on board or… thanks for your time”
  • You then get access to our Facebook group page where we advertise our projects
  • If you see a project that interests you and you have the skills for then we send your CV to the organisation and they interview you.
  • At that interview you decide if you really want to do the project, like the organisation and likewise, they like and want you.
  • If you both agree, then you enrol.
Q. What happens if I don’t get selected for a particular project?
  • We repeat the process with another organisation and project. We place 95% of our interns.
Q. What sort of organisations have taken on interns?
  • Every sort from large corporates (Mainfreight) to public sector (Waikato District Health Board) to the Big 4 accounting firms (Deloitte, KPMG, PWC, EY ) to not-for-profits (Community Waikato) to local government (Tauranga City Council) to sporting organisations (Sport Waikato) to international organisations (CBM Germany) to Fortune 500 companies (Abbott Laboratories UK) to top class hotels (Hermitage Mt Cook).
Q. Will it help me get a job?
  • Absolutely. Our motto is: ‘If you are good enough for an internship, you are good enough for a top job.’ And it has worked. All our interns have found good jobs.
Q.  Is an internship the same as ‘work experience’ or ‘job shadowing’?
  • No. What Kiwi student has got through varsity without getting work experience!!!  If you want to learn to become a manager then you need to PRACTISE your craft ASAP.
Q. So what is the difference?
  • The defining characteristic of the WMS internship is:  you APPLY what you have learned in the classroom over 3-4 years in a real organisational setting to a real problem. So, you apply your marketing knowledge, your supply chain knowledge, your finance knowledge, your HR knowledge, not to another artificial case study but to a real problem in a real organisation. And that is a BIG difference!
Q. Ok, sounds good but what are the ‘down-sides’? There must be some.
  • Well, from our experience, only a few:
  • You must allow time for the internship process, for example, finding a suitable project.
  • If you cannot handle uncertainty or ambiguity, then an internship is not for you.
  • If you prefer the ‘comfort’ of the classroom, then again, better not apply.
  • If you cannot give the time to spending at least a day a week in an organisation, then again better not apply.

If you want more information, contact us at internships@waikato.ac.nz


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