'To be given the opportunity to head my own project, essentially independently, is something not many graduates have...'
Graduate, Russell McVeagh
Having had the opportunity to complete an Intern Consulting Project for her UC studies, Millie quickly built the skills and confidence she needed to launch into her career.
‘To be given the opportunity to head my own project, essentially independently, is something not many graduates have,’ she says. ‘I became extremely invested in the end result and passionate about the topic. An area I initially knew very little about, I now find myself particularly interested and keen to consider a career in this area of employment law or human resource management.’
Her double degrees in Law and Commerce was the ‘perfect combination’ for her MGMT 390 internship project at the Department of Corrections.
Millie’s project was to produce a guide for managers in cases of medical incapacity – a situation where an employee is unable to fulfil their normal work duties due to a sudden illness or injury.
This involved looking at documentation, as well as interviewing individuals who are involved in some aspect of the medical incapacity process, from frontline managers through to welfare officers, and legal advisers, and external bodies such as ACC representatives and Union reps.
One key element to her project was to incorporate Te Whare Tapa Whā, the Māori health model of the four cornerstones to well-being – physical, mental, spiritual, and family health.
‘Not only does this align with other practices within Corrections, but it indicates the overarching theme and purpose of this guide, to focus on the health and welfare of the individual employee and how this can be balanced with the interests of the Manager and their team.’
She built a lot of professional and self-confidence from her internship, particularly around interviewing skills, and project management.
‘It has helped me develop a set of skills that not all graduates would have had the chance to develop in the conventional University course. Project management is an area that one does not often get the opportunity to develop in the early stages of their career,’ she says.
‘By the end of the placement, I felt my self-assurance had developed strongly. It was a completely unique and foreign experience for me, which pushed me out of my comfort zone of academic assignments.’
The results of her project were readily taken on board, and will feed into the Department of Corrections’ nation-wide programme in this area.
‘This gave me a lot of pride and I finally felt extremely confident in the work I had produced for Corrections,’ she says.
To top it off, Millie was offered a graduate position with law firm Russell McVeagh before finishing her degrees, as a result of her internship experience. Millie works in their Banking and Finance Team on project financing, and also in mergers and acquisitions for their Corporate Team.
With all of her successes, Millie highly recommends other students take on an intern consulting project during their studies.
‘If you get the opportunity to study this course, absolutely take it on. What you will learn, develop, and experience out of this course is unparalleled to any other courses at University and is totally invaluable.’