Employers impressed by 'switched on' interns

Local businesses and organisations play a significant role in the work-readiness of CPIT students through internships and work experience opportunities. It’s a partnership with wide-ranging benefits.

Nearly half of all students at CPIT undertake work placements while completing their studies. Some of Christchurch’s biggest employers are involved in the programme and they speak highly of the calibre of CPIT interns, describing them as “switched on”, “independent” and “part of the team”.

Canterbury District Health Board (CDHB) Staff Wellbeing Coordinator Andy Hearn is currently supervising three students from CPIT who are on work placement with CDHB’s Staff Wellbeing Team.

The students are based at Community and Public Health while completing their third year placement requirements for a Bachelor of Applied Science, specialising in Physical Activity and Health Promotion.

Hearn says the interns, who are doing 130 hours of work over the course of the year, have done a fantastic job. “They’ve been really switched on. They can work independently but they don’t go off on their own tangents. It’s worked out really well.”

>The interns have gained an insight into the complexities of running a staff wellbeing programme within a large corporate organisation and made some great connections with CDHB staff along the way. “It’s great for us because we get extra help and it’s great for them because they get real world experience in a large company,” Hearn says.

Each year for the past 10 years Sport Canterbury has placed CPIT interns into its Community Sport Team and Physical Activity Team.

General Manager Chris Hutchinson says there have been several interns at Sport Canterbury this year; one is completing a research project, one is working in events and others are working on physical activity programmes such as Be Active.

“The interns are usually here for about six months and we monitor their performance. Every CPIT intern we’ve had has done an incredible job,” he says. “To us they’re just like another staff member. They get involved, they organise events and they’re pleasant to be around.”

Hutchinson says the internships benefit both the students and the company. “We love having them and if we can help them get the experience they need to get a job in our sector then that’s our job done.”