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Top international students win internships with Auckland businesses

Published: 21 September 2018
Winners of the Global Talent Showcase (from left): Vinay, Lei Gu, Allan Tan and Divya Kataria

The inaugural Global Talent Showcase was held this week with four winning international students securing much sought-after internships at some of Auckland's leading businesses.

Initiated by Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development's (ATEED) Study Auckland and HR consultancy Talent Solutions, the competition attracted more than 150 entries, and is aimed at helping international students connect with employers.

Sixteen finalists - hailing from Russia, Latin America, China, Sweden, Korea, Pakistan, India and Indonesia - were selected to participate in a day-long assessment programme. The programme was designed to give students some practical experience such as interview skills and psychometric testing to gain greater understanding of the New Zealand job landscape.

Four students were selected at the end of the day to receive an internship, leadership development, a business mentor and career coaching:

  • Auckland University student Lei Gu won the Business and Commerce category and will work at EY
  • AUT student, Divya Kataria, Engineering, will work at Globex Engineering
  • Auckland University student Allan Tan, Science, will work at Douglas Pharmaceuticals
  • Unitec's Vinay, IT/Digital Tech, will work at Southern Spars

Head of International Education - Study Auckland, Henry Matthews says, "Some highly-skilled international students can find it challenging to find employment in their field of study once they have completed their education here.

"This is a lost opportunity for New Zealand employers, particularly when many international graduates are studying in high need skill shortage areas like engineering, IT/digital technologies and science.

"Through the Global Talent Showcase, we've been able to introduce these students to a taste of New Zealand's business culture."

Short-term employment forecasts for 2017-2020 from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Skills (MBIE) are predicting employment in New Zealand to grow by 153,000 in the next three years, with 46 per cent of that growth in Auckland. By 2020, the demand for highly skilled workers is forecast to increase by nearly 95,000.

Connecting Businesses With International Talent

Douglas Pharmaceuticals, Director of HR, Jo Copeland says: "It is not always the case that we can find the people we need locally, and the Global Talent Showcase offers the chance to connect with excellent, highly skilled talent to support our continued growth and a diverse workforce."

Seren Wilson, Director of Talent Solutions, the consultancy running the event, says the Global Talent Showcase has been timed to launch with the recent changes to immigration rules for international students. The new policy enables eligible, tertiary prepared international students to access a three-year post-study work visa.

"The recent immigration changes reduce the administration and cost associated with recruiting an international student on a post-study work visa. It is a great move for New Zealand to enable local employers more ready access to this highly skilled talent pool," says Wilson.

"We are delighted to provide a platform for New Zealand employers to engage with highly skilled international talent to grow their businesses and ultimately our local economy."