Nine lucky AUT University students are heading to the US on an once-in-a-lifetime work experience opportunity through the inaugural AUT interNZ international scholarship programme.
The students, most of whom will soon graduate from a range of different degrees including design and sport, will be taking up residence in New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles for three months where they will work for a leading business in their field of study.
AUT University’s Vice Chancellor Derek McCormack says he hopes the students will return to New Zealand “energised, enlightened and enthused” to build on the unique experience and share what they have learnt with others.
“The AUT InterNZ programme will help our brightest and best to acquire an understanding of business in a global context with experiences that will enhance their skills and capabilities in ways that are sure to be attractive and beneficial to New Zealand employers,” he says.
“We saw the need to create more opportunities for New Zealand young achievers to tune and expand their capability through the experience of working and living in global markets with different business cultures.”
McCormack says the businesses involved, which includes Saatchi & Saatchi, Westpac Americas and Paramount Recording Studios, are leaders in their field and the young students will learn a lot under their tutelage.
The seed funding for the AUT InterNZ programme was raised in 2012 at the Al Gore Global Leaders dinner. As well as the three months work experience, the scholarship also covers return air travel, accommodation, a living allowance and a year-long US Visa.
Losi Sa’u Lilo, who is currently completing a Post-Graduate Diploma in Public Health, has been selected to work with youth development programme Play Rugby USA.
Sau’u Lilo says she is expecting to learn so much from the youth and community in New York, and hopes to use her experiences to be a strong leader when she returns to New Zealand.
“It will be a great opportunity to improve my skills as both an employee and an academic,” she says.
Accounting and Finance graduate Matthew de Haan will be working in the investment world with Westpac Americas. He says he is looking forward to working in a collaborative environment and aims to develop networks that he can use in the future.
McCormack says AUT is aiming to extend the scholarship to other parts in the world at some time as giving students work experience in an increasingly competitive market place can give them the boost they need in their careers.
Recipients & Hosts
Kelsen Findlay – Saatchi & Saatchi
Losi Sa’u Lilo – Play Rugby USA
Matthew de Haan – Westpac Americas
Lauren Stewart – Public Restaurant
Hugh Delmonte – Zolfo Cooper
Ximena Smith – The B Team
Phoebe Ellis – Red Antler
Shannon Brown – Kiwi Landing Pad
Rebekah Smith – Paramount Recording Studios