The University of Waikato - Te Whare Wānanga o Waikato
Waikato Management School
Te Raupapa

Student Testimonials

Taljit Singh-SandhuTaljit Singh-Sandhu

Degree: BSocSci Environmental Planning & Social Policy
Internship: Graduate Planner at Boffa Miskell Limited, Auckland

Taljit undertook her internship at CLIMsystems. Her project was around creating a white paper with another student, Lawrence McLean. "Our project involved analysing both literature and raw data to investigate whether or not S&P500 companies in the USA disclosed their climate risks and opportunities."

It was a good experience for Taljit as it showed her that not every workplace is the same and there are a lot of people with different backgrounds. "When I was interning with the company, they were going through a period of change. This change demonstrated that people with different backgrounds resulted in different ideas of what would be successful."

"I think the internship benefitted me quite a lot as I am now a graduate planner and a lot of the work I do involves working with people with different backgrounds."

"I would definitely recommend this paper to other students because it provides them with experience to help them enter the workforce."

Stephanie KingsfordStephanie Kingsford

Degree:     BMS Marketing & International Management
Internship:   KPMG

The biggest driver for Stephanie to do MNGT496 was its reputation. "It seemed a lot more challenging and I really wanted practical experience."

Stephanie found her own project to work on at KPMG. "My project was around making improvements to KPMG's CRM software to enhance customer maintenance and satisfaction. An analysis was also conducted to recommend future marketing strategies. The experience taught me a lot about how big corporates work."

Stephanie has kept in touch with her MNGT496 programme coordinator. She states "Janet was one of the reasons why my experience was so good. She still provides constant support and advice to me now!" Stephanie also says that her internship mentor from KPMG has now turned into her life mentor. "Every single person you meet is a contact and you just never know when they can help you out.

"As long as you can go into the workplace, function effectively and maintain the relationships around you, then that’s all employers want and that’s what MNGT496 will teach you."

Toni BrownToni Brown

Degree:     BMS Accounting
Internship:   Miraka

Toni has recently completed her MNGT496 internship with an award-winning dairy company, Miraka. The initial project was to develop sustainability reporting for the business. However, when Toni did some deeper research into it, she realised she had to look into Miraka’s sustainability model as a whole rather than just the reporting.

Undertaking the project has led to a big change for Toni. "The project has really changed the way I think about things both in my current work and in my normal life. The reflective journal has also been very valuable to me. It's something I’ve adopted more in my day-to-day projects."

"The support of the programme coordinators were brilliant. Janet wanted me to achieve and she was very supportive in that. I’d definitely recommend the paper to other students. It’s very self-led and it’s been a real development for me. My advice to future students would be to make sure you understand the goal of the project and nail down what you are going to do at the beginning of it."

Kevin SequieraKevin Sequiera

Degree:     BMS Supply Chain Management
Internship:   Cardinal Logistics

Kevin approached Cardinal Logistics with the intention of just having a project. However, he ended up getting a job offer as a trainee manager for Griffins Exports, with the confirmation that they would pay his fees too.

“Working in a fully owned and operated New Zealand logistics company has been fantastic and having a multi-ethnic team has helped me learn different ways of handling situations. Dealing with clients directly and custom procedures also made me aware of various policies and instilled a result oriented work ethic.

The highlight of the experience was having a mentor dealing with day-to-day activities with a new joke every day! I also had team members who had been working in logistics for more than 25 years. “The knowledge they’ve shared with me over the period I’ve been here has been great.”

After a year of working for Cardinal Logistics, Kevin was promoted to the assistant role in managing inwards which incorporated handling customs, MPI, audits and container devanning.

All this would not have been possible without the initial support and guidance of Glyndwr and Janet. I plan to be in touch as my journey in supply chain progresses.”

Ryan BurnsRyan Burns

Degree:     BMS(Hons) Human Resource Management & Strategic Management
Internship:   OPRA Consulting Group

"Coming to the end of B semester in 2014, I had completed all the required papers for my degree and, like most of us, felt ready to leave the university experience behind with a relative sense of certainty that I was ready for the “real world” I had heard so much about over my past 4 years of study. Five months later, my perspective has changed completely after finishing my final presentation of my 596 internship. I have a great mentor who has really had an impact on my professional development and guided me through the realities of the business world, which although I was four years through a business degree, I was largely blind to and didn’t realise the gaps in what I knew until I experienced them first hand.

Regardless of what happened at the end of this 20 week period I could have gone away having added value and made a meaningful difference to myself, OPRA and the 596 programme, and having differentiated myself from the thousands of graduates and job seekers in the job market. I have seen first-hand from the other side of the recruitment process how much harder it is for graduates with little or no experience to gain a top job in their field, and the odds would have been stacked against me. However, on completion of my internship I have received and accepted a job offer and now have a graduate role as a Junior Consultant with OPRA, all thanks to the opportunity that was given to me by Jones and Janet which I took full advantage of. Overall, I would recommend the 496/596 to anybody looking to stand out from your fellow graduates. The 496 programme and the sponsor organisations that take part in it are of the highest calibre and provide the opportunity to gain the skills that can’t be learnt in a classroom, providing the missing piece of the puzzle through combining theory with reality".

Celeste Johansson

Degree:     BMS Economics and marketing
Internship:      Taragate

It is all about confidence for Celeste Johansson who has just recently finished her 496 internship with Taragate. A Bachelor of Management Studies student, Celeste majored in Economics and Marketing. Out of her entire degree, Celeste says the 496 was more fun than doing any other regular paper. “The learning outcomes were more substantial and applicable” she says, and the fact is “you can’t beat real life application of the things that you’ve learnt over the years”.

In her internship, Celeste undertook many tasks, including creating an online customer database, brand development, strategic consulting, social media customer relations, and the implementation of growth and efficiency improvements to the company’s processes.

But it does all come back to confidence, where Celeste now is assured that she can take on and do new things, things that she has never done before, and do them well. This is something that all graduates should feel when they are ready to enter the work force.

Braden Kempthorne

Degree:     BMS (Hons) Strategic Management
Internship:      Wintec

Braden is currently completing a 496 internship with Waikato Institute of Technology (Wintec) where delivering real results to an external organisation has given him the chance to apply his theoretical learning to solving real business problems.

In his third year of his Bachelor of Management Studies with Honours majoring in Strategic Management, Braden was looking for an opportunity to gain experience and test out his skills because, “at the end of the day, an employer will be looking at real world experience and that is what the internship gives you. It is also a means to differentiate yourself from the rest of the work force,” he says. Braden is enthusiastic about the his experience and says that “the learning I have experienced in the past 10 weeks surpasses my previous two and half years at university combined.”

At Wintec, Braden is conducting a research project in the sports practitioner industry. The project consists of secondary research including a competitor analysis, government education plans and policy exploration, and a review of academic literature as well as qualitative research in order to provide recommendations for Wintec for future developments. In particular, Braden has really enjoyed the self-managed nature of the project, controlling the scope of the project. The many complex tasks, constrained by limited time and resources has required effective communication skills.

Trent Webby

Degree:     BMS (Hons) International Management and Supply Chain Management
Internship:      Eagle Airways

“I have been doing an operations management paper simultaneously where I could learn something in class and walk outside and apply it instantly” says Trent Webby, a current 596 participant. “The networks and understanding that an internship gives you go far beyond the theory you learn at university.”

In his third year of a Bachelor of Management Studies with Honours majoring in International Management and Supply Chain Management, Trent is currently undertaking an internship with Eagle Airways. The internship requires Trent and his fellow intern to analyse the current process maps of Eagle Airways maintenance, planning, and inventory departments in order to identify where key variables and inefficiencies may occur so as to provide proactive and reactive recommendations to avoid reoccurrence.

The internship has been hugely educational for Trent who has enjoyed putting his class work to use in a real life situation. It has also helped him to discriminate which knowledge is valuable and what isn’t so as to make processes for learning and action more effective. This has been particularly important in the heavily regulated aviation industry which makes changes difficult. The learning from this experience prompts Trent to recommend an internship to any student.

Shaun Reed

Degree:     BMS Supply Chain Management and International Management
Internship:      Eagle Airways

Working in a real, fast-paced organisation with knowledgeable people has been a great experience for BMS student Shaun Reed. Majoring in supply chain and international management, in his third year, Shaun highly recommends an internship to any student as it is fantastic for differentiating yourself in the job market but it also gives you the confidence and general experience you need to help you choose your future direction.

Shaun is currently taking an internship with Eagle Airways, a subsidiary of Air New Zealand where he is developing proactive and reactive solutions and recommendations to control inefficiencies that he has found in the organisation’s key processes and outcomes. To be a player in supporting the future of such an active organisation is such a valuable experience for a student.

The internship has not been without its challenges and, in the highly complex and regulated airline industry, Shaun has had to work around and through organisational issues that are outside the scope of his project. “But it is these challenges that have provided the greatest learning,” he says.

More Interns

Click on the name below to read more about our interns

  • Samantha Goudie
  • Mark Kooter
  • Bradley Sam
  • Kendl Hambly

Samantha Goudie

Degree:     BCS Marketing and Public Relations
Internship:      Life Fitness New Zealand

Currently completing a Bachelor of Communication Studies majoring in Marketing and Public Relations, Samantha was also a member of the 496 Internship programme where she completed a five-month internship with Life Fitness New Zealand.

The internship project centred around the restructure of the current customer relationship management software at Life Fitness. Samanatha updated the customer database, redesigned the software to be more functional and personalised to the needs of the business, and developed a new systems-and-policies guide for staff to follow for best practice customer relations. Samantha felt the internship extended the skills that she learnt at university including problem solving, IT systems, and general communication. “Communicating and interacting with people is the very core to what I have been studying”, says Samantha which is why she found the internship so valuable.

At the completion of her internship, Life Fitness offered Samantha a full time position as their Marketing & Sales Assistant. Samantha is thrilled with her new position as she has always had a passion for the fitness industry and she has really enjoyed applying her knowledge in practice.

Mark Kooter

Degree:     BMS Finance and International Management
Internship:      Fonterra

Taking part in a real corporate environment before even entering the workforce provides such an insight into what could be your future according to Mark Kooter. Mark is in his fourth year of a Bachelor of Management Studies (BMS) majoring in Finance and International Management and he completed his internship at the beginning of the year at Fonterra’s head office in Auckland.

For three and a half months, Mark’s main role was to gather feedback around current budgeting processes and results and then develop a new company-wide template to assist in quarterly budgeting. Mark also conducted a series of minor projects for the company including a savings and project analysis.

Mark strongly encourages any student to take up the opportunity of an internship. “It offers you an opportunity to observe potentially unique work environments and job positions while you are studying, which helps you to make a more informed employment decision when moving into the career world,” he says. Mark now realises that there are many more career possibilities to explore as a result of his internship.

Bradley SamBradley Sam

Degree:     BMS/LLB (Economics, Finance and Law)
JOB:      Solicitor, DLA Piper, Auckland

When Bradley Sam embarked on his tertiary journey his goal was to gain an elaborate understanding of the business world.

Having completed a conjoint degree of Bachelor of Management Studies and Bachelor of Laws, majoring in Economics, Finance and Law, Bradley is now preparing to commence his new position as a Lawyer with corporate law firm, DLA Phillips Fox in Auckland.

While in his final stages of study, Bradley embarked on the 496 A Management Internship programme which enabled him to get the hands on experience he so desired.

“I was seeking experience in the field of economics so I sourced an internship with the Investment Strategy Group at JBWere in Auckland.”

Bradley is now looking forward to immersing himself in his new work environment and putting the knowledge and skills gained from his studies to good use.

Kendl HamblyKendl Hambly

Degree:     BMS Hons (Marketing and Strategic Management)
JOB:      Marketing Account Executive, TRACTA, Napier

Kendl Hambly’s passion for fashion and design led her to undertake an internship with Fallenfront, a men’s fashion retailer, while completing her Bachelor of Management Studies.

In her final year, Kendl was selected for the 496 A Management Internship programme, so she took the opportunity to put her marketing and strategic management skills to good use within the fashion industry.

“I joined the Fallenfront team as a marketing assistant and immersed myself in researching and analysing their target markets, competitors and industry trends.” “After pulling together my collection of research, I provided Fallenfront with a number of brand strategy recommendations. For example, the market research and industry trend analyses that I undertook revealed a number of website extensions Fallenfront could consider in order to increase customer satisfaction.”

This internship experience gave Kendl the motivation to seek out a job as a marketing coordinator at an innovative, entrepreneurial firm upon completing her degree. Kendl is now working for TRACTA as a marketing account executive. TRACTA is a marketing agency that specialises in the rural sector. We have clients in both NZ and Australia including John Deere, DeLaval, First Fresh, FarmIQ, Seed Force, Tatua and our biggest non-rural clients are Massey University and Big Save. Her role as an account executive includes liaising with clients and creatives in order to provide the best possible creative solution for the client. The role includes client meetings, client visits, creative meetings, liaising with suppliers (print, photographers, web etc), project management, quoting, and invoicing.  

“If you are wanting a well-rounded business degree, Waikato Management School can offer you that. It is one of very few management degrees that gives students the opportunity to gain industry experience prior to entering the workforce. I believe that the internship programme helps to set our business graduates apart from others.”

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