In a first for EIT, the schools of business and computing recently hosted an on-campus night bringing sponsoring businesses and organisations and students seeking internships together.
Under the leadership of Rebekah Dinwoodie, the two schools have adopted an increasingly cooperative approach in building stronger relationships with the local business community.
Both schools require their final-year degree and graduate diploma students to undertake a one-semester internship as part of their study programmes.
As in past years, the schools have compiled information on the students for the sponsors and invited sponsors’ thoughts on projects they would like students to undertake for their required practical, hands-on industry experience.
This year, Hawke’s Bay businesses and organisations submitted around 100 proposals – many more than can be matched up with the 38 computing and 28 business students.
“We appreciate the business community’s respect for our students’ capabilities,” says Dr Tom Hartley, a lecturer in information technology, who, with marketing lecturer Regan Cotter, organised the matching event.
“As an example of that, many of our computing graduates who have completed internships accept permanent full-time jobs with their sponsors.”
Regan agrees: “Our EIT students and graduates are in demand, both as interns and as employees they add real value to their respective organisations.”
The schools have provided guidance and made recommendations to help match up students, sponsors and projects, which can range from writing software, managing research projects to developing export business plans.
The sponsors are equally diverse – this year, for example, they include a furniture manufacturer, a health services provider, a boat manufacturer, web developers, a telecommunications company and local authorities.
Students and sponsors are now fine-tuning their choices ahead of the internships starting in semester two.