My internship at Fonterra led to a graduate role!

Sarah shares her experience about externships and highlights the value of building relationships.

"I chose to study commerce as I’ve been passionate about business since high school. Fortunately, my love for business has only grown during my time at the University of Auckland in the Business School. In my second year, I picked up a conjoint degree in arts in Maori Studies after loving a general education paper in Te Ao Maori I took in year one which I’ve loved.

"Last summer, I completed a 12-week internship with Fonterra and next July I’ll start working at Fonterra as part of the graduate programme which I’m stoked about! I discovered internship and graduate roles at the start of uni; I was determined to make the most of the opportunity and get my foot in the door of a successful corporation! I really wanted to work in marketing so I could utilise my business knowledge and be creative in my work.

"I heard about the Career Development and Employment Services (CDES) team through getting involved in the Māori and Pacific Employability programme. I wanted the opportunity to network, to learn more about the industry, as well as specific organisations. I just really wanted to be as prepared as I could be for life after university; and start building my networks to kick start my career.

"I connected with Pepe, the Māori Employability Consultant at CDES, who was absolutely fantastic! She organised the Ernst & Young and Vodafone externships where I spent three incredible days at each company, getting first-hand experience. It helped me to become at ease and comfortable in a corporate environment whilst at the same time gaining confidence in navigating the business world. These externships gave me the opportunity to network and build meaningful connections with people; which I believe will provide me with opportunities later in life.

CDES assisted me in preparing for each externship offering additional support to ensure I had the best experience possible. They helped me forge relationships with people in many successful companies, which opened a lot of doors for me. 

"They have connections with leading organisations who want to see you succeed and are experts at helping students find a job they will love and succeed in. This can make a huge difference for creating your future career.

"I recommend you allocate some time in preparing for life after university early, taking advantage of every networking opportunity you can. The sooner you can build relationships and get yourself out there, the easier it will be to find a job you love at the end of your degree."

Nga mihi nui,