During my semester in New Zealand, I joined an internship in a small IT company in Auckland, in which I experimented different roles, from applications development to research.
1. How I Found My Internship
It was not difficult for me to find a company to work for, as the internship was organised by the Auckland University of Technology (AUT), as a part of the academic semester for international students. AUT along with INTERNeX New Zealand will match students and internship companies. Therefore, after a skype meeting to get to know my skills and my goals, they were able to find the best company for me.
2. Kiwi Workspace's
The first difference I noticed immediately, compared to my home country, was the relaxed working environment and the flexible schedule, which reflects the Kiwi’s easy-going mindset. Perhaps a reason for this relaxed atmosphere was the size of the company (a larger firm would probably require more “discipline”). In New Zealand, there are many small and medium companies rather than large firms, and they are concentrated in Auckland, the most populated city. Working closely with my boss helped me to understand the way the business was organised and managed, which made me feel a part of it. Perhaps the real drawback of working in such a small company is the fact that I needed my own hardware (computer), so be aware to have the most appropriate one for that job! Maybe asking information from the boss during the first meeting about what it would need for the job, could help you. In addition, many companies, especially start-ups, don’t have an office, so they rather prefer to meet via Skype.
3. Is it Worth it?
partaking in an internship, it required an extra personal effort to complete University work (for instance, beside the office work I had to study further material by myself to prove academic aims) which was a full-time commitment. Therefore, free time was almost null, and for me, there were no possibilities to travel around New Zealand unless for just one day a week when I was lucky.
However, I have been able to gain working experience and to extend the vision of my future, taking in consideration different ideas I wasn’t thinking about before, which I am starting to realize now that I am back in Italy.
In conclusion, taking an internship while studying in a foreign country is the best experience you can have if you want to open your mind to different prospects and if you are still thinking about which roads to take for your future. Be aware that it could be a full-time effort and it may require a little “sacrifice”. So, answering the question, is it worth it? Definitely yes.
The first difference I noticed immediately, compared to my home country, was the relaxed working environment and the flexible schedule, which reflects the Kiwi’s easy-going mindset.