Workplace Integrated Learning: Co-operative Education

To ensure our graduates hit the deck running in their chosen careers the AUT Business School developed a highly successful workplace experience programme called Co-operative Education. Co-operative Education is a key point of difference for our degree and has strong support with employers and industry.

Co-operative Education provides students with a transition between their studies and the business world, and gives companies access to talented and motivated final year students.

The 9 week work placement is compulsory for all Bachelor of Business students and can be completed in New Zealand or overseas.

Information for students

Co-operative Education gives you the chance to apply what you have learned in the classroom and to develop your knowledge and skills in a business environment.

You can complete your work placement in New Zealand or overseas. If you are looking to do your Cooperative Education overseas you can be assisted by AIESEC New Zealand, which provides international work opportunities. 

AIESEC New Zealand website 

Co-operative Education is a minimum of 9-weeks. The programme is one of three options that you can take in your final year.

You will be mentored by a workplace supervisor and an AUT academic and will be encouraged to start the process of finding your placement from the beginning of your degree. The Business School provides assistance, hosting networking opportunities with employers and regular information and CV writing sessions throughout the year.

This highly successful programme gives you a great start in the industry while still being able to get feedback from lecturers who help you analyse your experiences and performance. Employers value the fresh ideas and latest thinking that you bring to the organisation, and many offer permanent employment to their Co-operative Education students after graduating.

Download student FAQs (4 pages/ 611kb)

Joanna Leng

“With International Business being one of my majors, I needed to find an internship abroad for my Co-operative Education paper. This was also a personal goal of mine. Finding an international placement involved a year of attending workshops and researching companies and visas but finally securing the internship was very rewarding and made it all worthwhile. The placement with London-based Effective Research, as an online project management/ client development intern for three months, pushed me outside my comfort zone and gave me the experience of a lifetime."

JOANNA LENG
Talent Associate, ICE Professionals
Bachelor of Business in International Business and Management

Information for Employers

Download the Co-operative Education Brochure

What are the benefits of employing a Co-operative Education student?

Co-operative Education students have the potential to contribute a great deal to your organisation. They will carry out their specific role and complete the tasks assigned to them. As well, they will bring with them some of the latest thinking from their field of study and their fresh ideas, youthful energy and enthusiasm that can add a new and different dimension to your organisation.

Students learn on the job, apply their classroom learning to real situations and problems and develop aspects of their professional practice. Co-operative Education students undertake a wide variety of work placements that enable them to experience the complexity of the real world of business first hand.

It is essential that they have hands on practical experience with processes or tasks related to their field of study.

Examples of roles and work completed by our students:

  • Agency Sales Co-ordinator, TVNZ -  assisting with managing clients, selling, booking spots in shows 
  • Territory Manager, Nestle NZ Ltd. - sales calls, orders, presenting new products, reporting
  • Assistant Insolvency Manager, McDonald Vague - liquidations, analysis of accounts, maintenance of insolvency files, preparation of statements of affairs
  • Human Resources Administrator, Turners & Growers - support HR team in recruitment and remuneration review
  • Management Trainee, Google, India  - budgeting, variance analysis, financial statement analysis
  • Marketing Communications Assistant, ANZ National Financial Group - managing communications approval process, assisting communications managers with projects
  • Accounts Administrator, Flight Centre - accounts payable, bank reconciliations, payroll, month end reporting

How long is the placement?

The minimum requirement is for a student to work full-time in the workplace over a 9 week period (360 hours). However many students have a placement that is longer than this eg. some students might have a 3 month placement that starts before and ends after the 9 week compulsory period. Other students incorporate their Co-operative Education into their full time, permanent employment.

How do I employ a Co-operative Education student?

Self-placement is one of the principles underlying Co-operative Education – students are responsible for finding their own positions. They are expected to create a CV, hunt out opportunities, apply for positions and participate in your standard recruitment processes. Payment is negotiated between you and your students. AUT has an online recruitment tool for students where you can post advertisements for Co-operative Education vacancies.

If you have an employment opportunity for a Co-operative Education student please contact:

Kate Coleman, Co-operative Education Manager
ph 09 921 9323
Email: kate.coleman@aut.ac.nz

Download employer FAQs (483kb)


Last updated: 18-May-2017 2.02pm

The information on this page was correct at time of publication. For a comprehensive overview of AUT qualifications, please refer to the Academic Calendar.