EIT Bachelor of Computing Systems graduate Martin Bischofer secured his operations technician job after working his final-semester internship at DataNow.
“This was great for us,” the company’s managing director Erik van den Hout says of the internship. “It helped us see just how capable Martin was, and he could see what we’re all about.
“The result of all this was that we offered Martin a full-time job on our team. Now several months into the role, we can see that things are working out very well.”
The job is also a nice fit for 21-year-old Martin. The software service company – winner of the EIT-sponsored small business category in the 2017 Hawke’s Bay Chamber of Commerce Business Awards – employs a small staff, which means he works on a wide range of tasks.
“I love that,” he says, “it keeps my mind active.”
Assistant head of EIT’s computing school, Dr David Skelton says Martin is an example of an academic achiever who, as a school-leaver, chose to study the computing degree at EIT rather than an out-of-region university.
“He has secured an excellent career in a leading-edge company as a result.”
Having served on the School of Computing’s local advisory committee as a student representative, Martin has re-joined the committee as a business representative with DataNow.
Born in Austria, he was a four-year old when his family moved to New Zealand. Routinely in the “lowest of the low group” at his primary and intermediate schools, it wasn’t until he was externally tested that he was diagnosed as dyslexic.
Martin was encouraged by his mother Raewyn to develop his own techniques for learning and his teachers at St John’s College, recognising where his abilities lay, pushed him ahead in science and maths.
“I consider myself lucky that my mother was always there, encouraging me to work things out for myself and to learn from consequences. I had to find my own way of doing things. High school was where I really found who I was in terms of academia.”
His design-strong sister Ruth is his opposite in terms of strengths and the siblings helped each other out.
Martin’s family were at his recent graduation and, while he enjoyed celebrating the milestone, he is missing the EIT campus and hanging out with friends.
“My lecturers were very helpful and supportive,” he says of his degree studies.
“In my first year, I had no real experience of computing. Many of my classmates did, and they cruised through. My work ethic and the time management techniques I’d developed at school helped to an extreme degree.
“In my third year, I started seeking the help of lecturers more often and if they didn’t have the information to hand they would point me in the right direction.”
Martin also appreciated the opportunity to practise what was taught in class in EIT’s computer lab.
“It helped cement in the learning, and the practical hands-on work boosted the grades of students who were otherwise struggling.”
Travel is in Martin’s plan and he’d particularly like to return to Austria, where his father lives. However, he sees his long-term future in Hawke’s Bay.
“While they are small cities, Napier and Hastings are big enough for me to feel comfortable here.”