The Otago Business School's Internship Programme is a valuable opportunity that all commerce students should try and make the most of, according to BCom graduate and former intern - Nathan Wilson.
Nathan, majored in marketing management with a minor in tourism, plus gained a graduate diploma in advertising, spent a year in Auckland with the global FMCG company, Unilever. He worked within customer development, specialising in a field operations. After completing a year in Auckland, he was offered a three-month project management role in the company’s head office in Sydney, Australia.
He now believes study is not complete until you can practice what you have learned.
“Internships offer a practical way of understanding academic studies - I have a much better appreciation of how a business actually operates in the real world.”
Working in such a large company with huge logistics in product distribution was an eye-opener. One of the biggest things he now understands is that every function, including the back office, does not operate in isolation – every team, department and function needs to actively work together to achieve organisational goals.
While it’s an excellent opportunity to understand business, being an intern also helps to understand the transition to full-time work, and what is expected of you in the workplace, from doing basic spreadsheet work to organising and implementing national promotions.
“You are not ‘shadowing’ anyone. You have KPI’s just like any other employee. Getting a taste of the real world was both sobering, enlightening and my most treasured University experience.”
It convinced him that marketing and sales is the right career option for him.
“I returned knowing what I need to study and what skills I need to finish at university in order to pursue the job I want.”
Nathan currently works as a Global Account Executive at Geometry Global, based in London, UK.