HomeNewsBusiness & Information Technology internships open doors for ākonga at UCOL Te Pūkenga

Business & Information Technology internships open doors for ākonga at UCOL Te Pūkenga

By UCOL on Tuesday, 21 November 2023

Nick Soo

A group of UCOL Te Pūkenga Business and Information & Communications Technology (ICT) ākonga (learners) are celebrating the end of their internships with jobs already secured in the industry.

Ākonga marked the end of their semester-long internships last week with an Industry Project Showcase at their Palmerston North campus.

The showcase gave ākonga studying for their Bachelor's degree or graduate diploma in Business and ICT the chance to display posters that show their internship objectives, learnings, and results. These were presented to staff, whānau, other ākonga, and industry professionals.

UCOL's Industry Project Coordinator for Business & ICT Sherryn Irvine says that the internship projects provide value to both ākonga and organisations alike.

"Ākonga get a chance to gain experience and industry connections for when they graduate, while organisations get help solving real-world problems. This goes to show the important role the industry plays in helping us educate our ākonga and making sure they are ready to work in the industry after graduation.

This year, over 20 organisations from around Manawatū participated in the Internship Programme.

"Many of these organisations consistently provide internship opportunities for our ākonga each year. We are very thankful for this, alongside the other organisations who have come on board this year. It was great to hear about all the awesome work ākonga have been doing for these organisations.

"These internships give ākonga a chance to apply the knowledge and skills they've learnt at UCOL in the workplace. It's been a huge success - we know some ākonga have already secured work with the businesses they interned with, and the experience gained by the others has set them up for employment with other organisations!"

At the event, UCOL also provides awards for the best poster from Business and ICT ākonga, based on their internship, says Ms Irvine. 

"This year, we awarded the top business poster to Grace Stichbury for her work with Glendinnings Chartered Accountants. The ICT award went to two ākonga, Rain McAdam for her work with Tanenuiarangi Manawatū Inc and Nick Soo for his internship with Levno."

Mr Soo, who is in the final week of his ICT Bachelor's degree, is getting ready to start his new paid contract at Levno.

"I've had such an amazing experience interning at Levno and I've just been offered a three-month paid contract with them as a data and business analyst. I'm so excited and I'm hoping I can work for them full-time eventually."

Levno is a technology company that develops monitoring solutions for farmers, covering four areas - milk, feed, fuel, and water.

"For part of my industry project, I helped the team at Levno to create a dashboard to help their partners understand how different farms were performing in terms of milk quality. We use this data to identify lower-performing farms and see what they could do to improve.

"I came in and took all the historical data they'd collected over the years and transformed it into the milk quality dashboard and proved their concept. The team are developing it now, it's so cool to see it coming to life!"

After finishing all the objectives of his internship early, Mr Soo is now working on a project to improve the accuracy of the milk collection data.

Mr Soo says his internship offered a great opportunity to develop his skills and get work-ready.

"UCOL gave me all the theoretical skills I needed so that when I stepped into the internship I was ready to work and gain a whole bunch of practical experience. It's been a really valuable experience for me.

"Not to mention, it's been a great way for me to transition into work. I've felt incredibly supported throughout my placement by my team at Levno and my data analyst lecturer and supervisor from UCOL, who helped me overcome any challenges I was facing."

For more information on UCOL's Information Technology and Business programmes and to apply, click HERE for ITC and HERE for Business.