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Enterprise Dunedin encourage local businesses to take on summer intens

07 Sep 2018

Enterprise Dunedin is encouraging growing Dunedin businesses to take on interns this summer – or even longer if the interns are the right fit.

This month Enterprise Dunedin will host a speed interview event called Sexy Summer Jobs (SSJ), which will match interns with local businesses who are on the lookout.

The event will also encourage businesses to talk with students and potential interns about their business needs, while students can tell businesses about their own skills.

Businesses that take on interns are also eligible for funding to help cover the intern’s remuneration.

According to Enterprise Dunedin business development advisor Chanel O’Brien, the programme is an easy way to link local businesses with students.

“It allows businesses to take the chance to employ a talented person in a cost effective, low risk way. Businesses are more likely to take on an intern if their risks are reduced. It allows the city to retain the talent the tertiary sector produces, meets business needs, and creates jobs in Dunedin,'' comments O’Brien.

“The programme is showing students there are jobs for them in Dunedin and encouraging them to stay.”

Southern Clams is one business that took on an intern in 2014. Managing director Roger Belton choose intern Miao Zhang, a Chinese marine science student who studied at the University of Otago.

“Interns give us a foreign perspective. We’re an export company focused on providing goods and services for overseas markets – foodstuffs that are appreciated by foreigners. As our target markets are dominated by foreign cultural demands, it helps to employ foreign people who have other perspectives,” Belton explains.

 And Belton didn’t stop there: His firm employs people from all over the world, including Polynesia, France, Poland, China, Africa, India, Spain and Italy.

He has also worked in Europe, where it is common for internships to be part of their courses for their degrees. In France, students must complete two internships in a foreign country. After one of their internships, they must also write a report in a foreign language.

“You are much more attractive for a prospective employer if you have work experience as well as your degree,” he continues.

Miao says that students who are considering internship should seize the opportunity.

“If you take the chance to get some work experience, you may end up in full-time employment in your dream job,” she comments.

This year there are a number of local partners that are supporting Enterprise Dunedin, including The University of Otago, Otago Polytechnic, and Firebrand.

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