An opportunity to bring learnings from lectures into real-world experience has become a reality for 23 tertiary students who started summer internships and research projects at Tauranga City Council last week.
Among the students are 18 summer interns, who will apply their academic learning within a range of teams across Council, including Emergency Management, Digital, Transport and Libraries.
While there is a large contingent of University of Waikato students, students represent a wide range of national universities majoring in subjects such as engineering, law, business, and climate change.
Aimee Young, Venue & Events Communications Officer, and Megan Rostron, Venue & Events summer intern Megan Rostron, a journalism and media student at Massey University, has joined Council’s Venues and Events team as a summer intern.
She will be involved in social media campaigns, event support and marketing administration during her internship, and says she’s looking forward to applying the skills she’s gained through university into real work.
“I applied for the internship as I wanted to gain some relative work experience and expand my skillset a bit more. There’s only so much you can do within a degree without having that experience, so I’m really looking forward to learning and growing through this opportunity at Council,” says Megan.
A further five undergraduate students will be completing summer research projects as part of the Tauranga Moana Futures programme, a collaboration between the University of Waikato, Tauranga City Council, and Priority One. The projects will end with a showcase of research findings in early February.
Jess Mitchell, summer research student, and Stéphanie Keller-Busque, Climate and Sustainability Lead Jess Mitchell, a University of Waikato climate change and geography student, will be using Council’s Geographic Information System (GIS) data to map and interpret Tauranga’s tree canopy cover, using these findings to measure how our urban trees are enabling carbon sequestration at a city scale.
As a mature student coming from a background in the financial sector, Jess says she’s excited to delve deep into the climate and GIS space.
“Coming from a completely different field in finance, it’s going to be so valuable to get exposure to a whole bunch of stuff happening in the Climate and Sustainability and GIS teams.
“I’ve already done some GIS papers and I have another one coming up next year, so my experience at Council will be an awesome link in between over the summer. We’ve talked a lot about climate in my studies, but seeing what’s actually happening in a council will be amazing.”
Stéphanie Keller-Busque, Climate and Sustainability Lead at Tauranga City Council, says her team supported the appointment of the summer research students with an aim to enhance students’ studies while benefiting our environment and city.
“We have an ambitious work programme ahead of us to respond to the effects of climate change in Tauranga and celebrate nature as an integral part of our city. Each one of the research projects will contribute to our understanding of how our built environment can best enhance the quality of our natural environment, all while making our city a more vibrant and beautiful place for residents to enjoy.”
Marlene Herewini, Employment Pathways Lead at Tauranga City Council, says the opportunities for students through the summer internships and research projects extend beyond work experience.
“We’re excited by the calibre of our first cohort of summer students who will be working across teams at Tauranga City Council, helping to deliver and contribute to the work ahead.
“We hope this summer programme provides benefits in learning, not only through work experience, but in seeing career pathways and ways in which our future graduates can positively affect change within a council for the benefit of our environment and our community in the future.”
To learn more about the Tauranga Moana Futures programme, visit the Tauranga City Council website.