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Wednesday, 13 April 2022

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Thirza Smith shares her experience of the Otago Business School Internship Programme.

Having spent most of her life in Dunedin, England-born Thirza Smith took the time to share how she ended up at the Otago Business School, why she took part in its Internship Programme and what her experience was like.

“I've always been really creative and loved doing art and design at high school, but I also really enjoyed subjects that focused on analytical thinking and problem solving,” Thirza says.

“I also want to get into management someday and had heard such great things about the Otago Business School from my friends, who had already completed their degrees, and so I decided to join the University and work towards a BCom majoring in Information Science and Management.”

She felt that combining business and creative subjects together worked for her perfectly, enabling her to learn about the world through a variety of lenses and opened up several learning opportunities for her, such as the Internship Programme.

“I strongly believe we should be taking as many opportunities for self-improvement as possible and, not only does a year's worth of work experience looks fantastic on a CV, but the self-development that comes from the experience itself is what's so valuable,” Thirza says.

“During the Internship Programme, you learn heaps about workplaces in general, and the organization you're placed with, but you'll also learn a lot about yourself, your interests, and your workplace preferences; all things which are great to know before applying for grad jobs.”

“It was such a valuable experience in terms of networking, hearing from business professionals, and developing my CV and interview skills.”

Having been a freelance makeup artist for the past three years alongside her studies, Thirza knew the importance of networking to grow her artistry and increase her knowledge base.

At Mercy Hospital, in Māori Hill, Dunedin, where Thirza completed her internship, she could further network, meeting a variety of people who were “extremely supportive” of her development, interests, and even allowed her to take the lead on projects that she was passionate about, ultimately developing her presentation, project management, networking, marketing and ICT skills.

She “learnt so much” from her time there and felt that she is more prepared to graduate and find a full-time job because, prior to this experience, she had been struggling with her self-confidence when meeting groups of new, senior professionals.

She finds herself now more comfortable than ever to contribute her ideas and understands that her thoughts and perspectives are valued in the workplace.

“I can confirm that the programme has been such an incredible boost to a young professional's skills and mindset,” Thirza says.

Written by Otago Business School Communications Adviser, Kelsey Schutte.

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