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Interns to build understanding of Asian business cultures

Interns to build understanding of Asian business cultures

Top New Zealand students and graduates are investing in their future careers by spending their summer on business internships in Asia.

The Asia New Zealand Foundation is supporting 11 students and graduates from around the country to undertake internships in Indonesia, Japan, Taiwan and Vietnam. They will spend up to three months working in companies relevant to their university studies.

Asia New Zealand Foundation business programme director James Penn says the internships are an investment both in the individuals and in the long-term capacity of New Zealand businesses to operate in Asia.

“We’re delighted to be giving these top students life-changing work experiences in Asia. They will gain invaluable understanding of the cultures of their host countries and insights into how business is conducted.”

He thanked the host companies, some of which had been hosting New Zealand interns for nearly a decade: ANZCO Foods (Taiwan); Baba Rafi (Indonesia);Industrial Technology Research Institute – ITRI (Taiwan); KPMG (Vietnam); Kyushu Railway, Oji Holdings and Rakuten (all Japan) for their support.

Previous KPMG Vietnam intern Ben O’Brien, who works as a solicitor in Auckland and is a member of several professional networks with a focus on Asia, says his experience of a Vietnamese workplace expanded his horizons. “It showed me work practices in a different culture, which I have been able to use back in New Zealand with good results. On-the-ground experience is critical for building knowledge of business cultures.”

Business internships are a growing focus for the Asia New Zealand Foundation, which also funds programmes at BECA’s offices in Southeast Asia or China, Gung Ho! Pizza in Beijing, and Caravelle Saigon Hotel in Vietnam. The Foundation is currently advertising an internship at the New Zealand Consulate-General in Chengdu, China.

The summer 2016-17 interns are:

ANZCO Foods, Taiwan

Tom Bone - Bachelor of Commerce student at Victoria University of Wellington, majoring in marketing and management. Bone, who was a prefect at Nelson College and is a qualified senior lifeguard, hopes to develop a career in management consultancy. He will spend three months in the Taipei office of ANZCO Foods, one of New Zealand's largest exporters.

Baba Rafi, Indonesia

Emma Appleton – Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Science student studying international business, commercial law, psychology and geography at the University of Auckland. She was previously head girl of the co-educational boarding house of Saint Kentigern College. Appleton will begin a three-month internship at the head office of kebab chain Baba Rafi in Jakarta in December.

KPMG, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Daryn Govender, Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) specialising in civil engineering, and Bachelor of Commerce majoring in finance and economics at the University of Auckland. Govender was dux of Rosehill College, Papakura, is an elected member of the school’s Board of Trustees, and a Chartered Member of the Institute of Directors in New Zealand. He was the treasurer of the University of Auckland Civil Engineering Students’ Association and a board member of YouthLaw Aotearoa.

Jay Sinclair,
Bachelor of Commerce student majoring in accounting and economics at the University of Auckland. Sinclair plans to become a chartered accountant and is involved in a wide range of clubs and associations. He is an executive board member of the New Zealand branch of the International Association for the Exchange of Students for Technical Experience (IAESTE).

Oji Holdings, Japan

Jade Phibbs, Massey University student majoring in Chinese and Spanish. Phibbs has previously completed a degree from the University of Otago majoring in international business and Japanese. She has a black belt in the Japanese martial art kendo and has won several scholarships for her language skills. She will intern with paper company Oji Holdings in Tokyo for two months from early February.

Rakuten, Japan

Celia Stokman, computer science student at the University of Auckland.Stokman has previously completed an internship with ASB Bank’s technology and innovation hub. In 2013, she received the New Zealand EB Games Assistant Manager of the Year award. She started a three-month internship with internet services company Rakuten in Tokyo in November.

Kyushu Railway Company, Japan

Daniel Scott, qualified civil engineer. Scott recently completed an intensive language course in Tokyo under a New Zealand Prime Minister’s Scholarship (PMSA). He earlier completed his undergraduate engineering degree at the University of Auckland, followed by a Master’s degree at Cornell University in the United States as a Fulbright Scholar, before working in Auckland for five years. He is a member of the Asia New Zealand Foundation’s Leadership Network.

Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI), Taiwan

Richard Liu, Bachelor of Management Studies majoring in supply chain and human resource management at the University of Waikato. Liu is president of youth organisation AIESEC in Waikato, co-founder of Study Abroad Network. Liu will spend three months at ITRI’s International Centre in Hsinchu.

Haydan Tompkins, Bachelor of Engineering with Honours student majoring in mechatronics at Massey University, Albany. Tompkins previously spent 10 years working in the petroleum industry in New Zealand and the Pacific. His internship is with the machine tools technology center at ITRI’s new campus near Nanto in central Taiwan.

Falina Tsai, Bachelor of Management Studies student majoring in accounting and human resource management at the University of Waikato. Tsai is a treasurer at Waikato University’s Amnesty International group. She works with her parents on their orchid farm near Hamilton helping them to manage the business. Tsai will intern with Taiwan USA Industrial Cooperation Promotion Office (TUSA) in Taipei.

Jacob Ward, Bachelor of Science student in chemistry and pathology at the University of Otago. Ward hopes to ultimately enter the fields of biomedical and chemical research. He will intern with the Green Energy and Environmental Research lab at the Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) in Hsinchu.

The Asia New Zealand Foundation is a non-partisan, non-profit organisation with a range of programmes designed to equip New Zealanders with first-hand experience of Asia and to forge valuable links to the region. Founded in 1994, the Foundation works in five main areas - business, arts and culture, education, media and research. It also runs a Leadership Network and takes a lead role in track II (informal diplomacy) bilateral and multilateral dialogues in the Asia-Pacific region. For more information:

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