"It is very motivating to hear of organisations actively looking for international students for internships," says Divya Kataria, who recently who won a sought after internship through Global Talent Showcase.
“It made me feel good to hear that industries were actively seeking international students’ skills. It can be scary once you graduate because your visa starts ticking along and you don’t want to let parents down.”
The AUT construction engineering student won the engineering section of the competition that was set up by Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development’s (ATEED), Study Auckland and HR consultancy Talent Solutions. Designed to help international students connect with employers, the competition attracted more than 150 entries.
As well as an internship with Globex Engineering, Divya also won a leadership development course, business mentoring and career coaching.
While the application process was arduous, says Divya, including a video interview and online psychometric assessments, it was nothing compared to the assessment day. The full day assessment programme was designed to help the 12 finalists students gain greater understanding of the New Zealand job landscape and included interview skills and group activities.
Divya says it was interesting to see how difficult some of the students found it to work together as a team during group activities. “I am very grateful I am studying at AUT because my studies made me more prepared to work in groups – things like being aware of how to speak and behave in a group. I hadn’t realised this before.”
She says she felt all the things she had done at AUT, both study and volunteering, had come together.
“It was a platform to prove myself and my growth which was motivating and inspiring.”
By 2020, the demand for highly skilled workers is forecast to increase by nearly 95,000, according to Head of International Education-Study Auckland Henry Mattews.
“Some highly-skilled international students can find it challenging to find employment in their field of study once they have completed their education here. This is a lost opportunity for New Zealand employers, particularly when many international graduates are studying in high need skill shortage areas like engineering, IT/digital technologies and science,” he says.
Seren Wilson, Director of Talent Solutions, the consultancy running the event, says the Global Talent Showcase was timed to launch with the recent changes to immigration rules for international students. The new policy enables eligible, tertiary prepared international students to access a three-year post-study work visa.
“The recent immigration changes reduce the administration and cost associated with recruiting an international student on a post-study work visa. It is a great move for New Zealand to enable local employers more ready access to this highly skilled talent pool,” says Wilson.
Two other AUT students were also finalists – Riva Biswas (Science) and Sreenidhi Roshinkumar (Engineering).