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Student story

Kat Malmus

20 July 2023

"This internship allowed me to make new contacts and gain experiences that I haven’t had before..."


Bachelor of Commerce in Human Resource Management and Management, with a minor in International Business

HR Intern, Christchurch Engine Centre

Being able to complete an Intern Consulting Project with Christchurch Engine Centre, has given Kat the unique opportunity to gain insights into strategic aspects of HRM before graduating.

"The project allowed me to apply the knowledge learned throughout university courses and showed that what we learn is useful in the 'real world'", she says.

After discovering Human Resource Management as a keen interest during study, Kat's MGMT 390 intern project placed her in the HR Department at Christchurch Engine Centre, as part of Pratt & Whitney – Air New Zealand.

"Their main purpose is to do maintenance, overhauls, and repairs for airplane engines, so it was really cool and special," she says.

"One of the main things that I have learned there is what it is like to work within an environment that is steered and controlled by an overseas corporate.

"Working within this space requires an in-depth understanding about the restrictions and constraints, but also what can be achieved."

The aim of Kat's project was to further develop their ongoing employee engagement, and to reinforce the newly introduced values. As part of this Kat was involved in developing an assessment centre for screening and assessing job applicants, creating interview questions, along with individual and group  practical assessments, to evaluate applicants' performance and fit with the company.

The end result was a 92-page report and presentation to the HR department, with research and recommendations for enhancing their recruitment, induction, and engagement processes.

"Much of the workforce is international and due to high industry standards, the Christchurch Engine Centre has to ensure that certain qualification levels are present before hiring (especially overseas) staff. I ended up talking to Immigration NZ and the NZQA in relation to the qualifications assessment," she says.

With Christchurch Engine Centre expecting significant growth in the next few years, Kat is excited to see the results of her research being put in place.

As someone who was used to working from home, Kat thoroughly enjoyed the experience of working in a real-world office environment, and developing stronger interpersonal skills.

"This internship allowed me to make new contacts and gain experiences that I haven't had before," she says.

Definitely Kat has developed a lot through the experience, and thoroughly recommends an internship project to gain crucial knowledge of where your degree can take you.

"Doing an internship requires you to fully immerse yourself within the business and understand how it operates, what the different communication lines are, and 'how things are done' within it. Being able to look at the big picture is crucial and partaking in the internship will allow you to understand those components from classes. If you are open-minded and keen to gather some great experiences – do it!"

Originally from Germany and having spent the last few years calling New Zealand home, Kat says that UC is "a great place, with supportive lecturers and a wide variety of courses that allow you to follow your passion".

After such a great experience within her BCom degree, Kat intends to go onto postgraduate studies in HRM with UC in the near future.

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