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Personal experience is increasingly necessary in today's competitive job market. Employers want to know that you can do the job before you even start your first day, but how can you get experience if no one is willing to hire you? And what if you wanted to do some traveling before settling down in a "real" job?
Internships are a fantastic way to gain experience in every field imaginable and can be a great way to travel as well. Auckland is the largest and most populous city in New Zealand and is also the capital city. In addition to the extensive job opportunities offered by any major city, Auckland is famous for its stunning natural beauty. Known as the "City of Sails," Auckland's Hauraki Gulf is filled with sailboats on nice days in the summer. The entire city lives within half an hour of beautiful beaches, hiking trails, and enchanting islands, and is also famous for its outstanding food and unique Polynesian culture. Ready to jump on a plane yet?
As New Zealand's capital city and business center, Auckland is a popular destination for internships in business and international studies. If it is nature and the environment that you love, Hauraki Gulf, which Auckland overlooks, is one of the richest environments in the world for marine mammals. As a result, Auckland is an exceedingly a popular destination for individuals seeking an internship in marine biology, environmental studies or a related field. Internships in health sciences, information technology and many more are also available in Auckland.
Internships in New Zealand are generally unpaid, but as in the United States, this depends on the company with whom you are doing your internship. Before leaving for the Land of the Long White Cloud (as New Zealand is sometimes referred to from its Maori name, Aotearoa), confirm any financial arrangements with the company you will be working for. If your internship is unpaid, it might be a good idea to talk to the company and ask about recommendations where you can find extra work to finance your travel abroad. You can also look on websites like Indeed.com to find part-time work in Auckland.
As with all jobs and internships, it is wise to start looking early. It is recommended that you begin searching for internships in Auckland at least six months before you plan to leave for New Zealand. Below are some resources that may be helpful in searching for internships in New Zealand.
Kiwis, as people from New Zealand are called, tend to be more laid back than what you might be used to in American culture. Although calling a boss or supervisor "sir" or "madam" in America might be seen as respectful, in New Zealand it is far more likely to be taken as sarcasm. If you are unsure of what to call your boss it will probably be a lot easier to simply ask them, "What should I call you?" rather than guessing, and especially guessing wrong.
Although New Zealanders are very polite and friendly, they can also be somewhat reserved about maintaining professional relationships in the work place. It is probably not a good idea to immediately friend all of your colleagues on Facebook, but this is fairly universal unless it is a very tight-knit group of people. Depending on the field you want to intern in, you may be expected to partake in professional team building such as attending company lunches, dinners, etc. Don't be intimidated by cultural differences though; an internship in New Zealand can help you build experience, make contacts, and get ahead in the field of your choice.
Traveling abroad can be scary to think about but if you are thirsting for adventure and need to build up some on-the-job experience, it can be the experience of a lifetime. We know it's a long flight, but if you're getting on a plane anyway, it might as well be all the way across the Pacific! So go ahead and take the plunge! It will likely be one of the most memorable times of your life.
Jessica Scarfuto is a graduate student studying Science and Technology Journalism at Texas A&M University. She enjoys travel writing as well as science writing. You can follow Jessica on Twitter at @jscarfuto17.
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