Pride of placement

Part of the Bachelor of Business since 1993, the Co-operative Education programme gives students invaluable workplace experience, helping them launch their chosen careers.

Laura Perry
As part of her Bachelor of Business Laura Perry completed workplace experience at NZTE.

Since the establishment of the Bachelor of Business in 1993, we’ve offered a way for students to put business theory into practice. As part of their degree, our Business School students spend nine weeks working at a company in their specialist area.

Workplace experience (also called co-operative education or co-op) is a key point of difference for the Bachelor of Business and is instrumental in building strong connections and support among students, employers and industry.

“Since its inception, co-op has been reviewed and refreshed many times to utilise cutting-edge technology and to reflect the changing world of work,” says Kate Coleman, Co-operative Education Manager.

Through these placements, our students gain invaluable workplace experience that complements their academic learning and helps them become sought-after employees. Some students are offered full-time jobs during or after their placement; others are given the opportunity to enrol in graduate programmes."

Gaining workplace experience as part of her degree was one of the highlights for business alumna Marina Mohareb, who now works for KPMG in Melbourne.

“As a part of my Bachelor of Business, I completed workplace experience in AUT’s Information and Communication Technology (ICT) department. I gained experience as a junior business analyst in the ICT strategy and architecture team. This gave me exposure to the kind of workplace I hoped to be entering.”

The Business School regularly engages with its organisations to ensure that students are equipped with the skills a 21st century employee needs to thrive in the workforce.

“Many employers comment that our students ‘hit the ground running’ and make valuable contributions to their organisations during their placements,” says Kate Coleman.

Participating organisations include Vodafone NZ, The Warehouse Group, PwC, New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation, KPMG, DDB, Main Freight, and Farmers Trading Ltd.

For employers, the Co-operative Education programme offers the opportunity to tap into the future talent pipeline.

“Over the last nine years Farmers has been involved with AUT’s Co-operative Education programme, with many students going on to continue in full-time employment”, says recruitment manager Chantel Posa.

“Our relationship with the AUT Business School and its Co-operative Education programme is a valuable part of our recruitment process.”

And, in keeping with the globalised economy, many students seek positions overseas.

“The ability for students to be able to complete co-op anywhere in the world adds another dimension to their experience by giving them the opportunity to live and work overseas, says Kate Coleman. “This enables them to bring back a new perspective when they return to New Zealand.”

“Over the past few years we’ve had approximately 20% of our students each year completing workplace experience overseas. Popular destinations are Europe, Australia, North America, Asia and the Pacific Islands,” she adds.

Professor Kate Kearins, Dean of AUT’s Business School, says the work placement opportunity aligns with AUT’s commitment to supporting its students to become great graduates with a head start on becoming excellent employees.

“The Co-operative Education programme not only adds to students’ employability but also to the recognition that AUT is successfully graduating students with a desirable skillset and knowledge base into the competitive marketplace,” says Professor Kearins.

Photo of Bronson Wilson
Photo of Laura Perry
Photo of Xaviere Murray-Puhara
Photo of Bronson Wilson
Bronson WilsonContent Coordinator, Viacom International Media Networks, Amsterdam
Bachelor of Business in Market Insights: Marketing, Advertising, Retailing, Sales
“For my final-year workplace experience, I worked for the smart navigation technology company TomTom in the Netherlands. During my placement, I managed all marketing materials for my department, created email campaigns and sales pitch presentations, overhauled their line of product presentations and assisted on UX & UI design concepts.”“For my final-year workplace experience, I worked for the smart navigation technology company TomTom in the Netherlands. During my placement, I managed all marketing materials for my department, created email campaigns and sales pitch presentations, overhauled their line of product presentations and assisted on UX & UI design concepts. AUT trusted me to travel to the other side of the world for my workplace experience and enabled me to explore the different avenues marketing and advertising can open. They believed in me and for that I’m thankful.”
Photo of Laura Perry
Laura PerryExecutive Assistant to the CEO, Stoney Creek
Bachelor of Business in Economics and Management
“My workplace experience at NZTE’s Wellington office really changed my life for the better. I got to spend nine weeks in a leading-edge organisation, and I couldn’t be more thankful for this experience that AUT has provided. It’s truly priceless and has definitely given me the strength, skills and experience I needed to get a foothold in the business world.”“My workplace experience at NZTE’s Wellington office really changed my life for the better. I got to spend nine weeks in a leading-edge organisation, and I couldn’t be more thankful for this experience that AUT has provided. It’s truly priceless and has definitely given the strength, skills and experience I need to get a foothold in the business world.”
Photo of Xaviere Murray-Puhara
Xaviere Murray-PuharaProduct Owner for Connectivity, Vodafone New Zealand
Bachelor of Business in Business Information Systems and Management
“The workplace experience in my final year was a great way to apply the theories I had learnt at AUT in the business world. I spent nine weeks at Air New Zealand’s head office, working on projects like airpoints for business and the unaccompanied minors airband technology. I also made new friends and attended many networking events, developing my communication and networking skills as well as beginning to build my corporate network.”“The workplace experience in my final year was a great way to apply the theories I had learnt at AUT in the business world. I spent nine weeks at Air New Zealand’s head office, working on projects like airpoints for business and the unaccompanied minors airband technology. I also made new friends and attended many networking events, developing my communication and networking skills as well as beginning to build my corporate network.”

20 years as a university

AUT has a rich institutional history stretching back almost 125 years, and became New Zealand’s eighth university in January 2000.

Read more