Applied Researcher, Lululemon, Vancouver, Canada
Bachelor of Sport and Recreation in Exercise Science and Management
AUT enables students to set themselves up for a bright future in the industry, says sport and recreation alumna Katrina Sharlott.
“Industry practice is so valuable once you graduate. You don’t realise until after you’ve graduated how important this part of your study is in giving you a head start once you graduate. This was one of the reasons I chose AUT – it bridges the gap between academic studies and industry practice.
“My third-year workplace experience was the highlight for me. This was largely self-directed and gave me the opportunity to apply to any workplace I wanted to see myself in the future, and seek out placement opportunities in my field. I took full advantage of this opportunity and really made the most of making connections within the sport and recreation industry.”
She also appreciates the international opportunities open to AUT students.
“The AUT Internz programme is life-changing for students. AUT is one of the only universities that offers these kinds of international connections to recent graduates, and this opportunity might shape the rest of your career.”
An unmissable opportunity
After graduating at the end of 2018, Katrina is now working for Lululemon in Vancouver; an opportunity she got through the AUT Internz International Scholarship Programme. After starting at Lululemon as an intern, she was recently offered the role of applied researcher.
“Whitespace is a research and innovation lab looking after what I would call ‘the future of Lululemon’. We have a lot of state-of-the-art technology for conducting large business-shaping research studies, and with so many different projects on the go every day here is different and exciting.
“The moment I saw this internship advertised on the AUT Internz website I knew I had to apply for it. A role in physiology and research is my dream job and getting a paid, overseas opportunity to pursue that was really something I couldn’t imagine being offered.”
The company culture is what she enjoys most about her role, Katrina says.
“I love the unbelievably strong work culture, and the emphasis on personal and team development that shines through on a daily basis. I’m learning more than ever before and loving every moment here in Vancouver.”
Advice for other students
Use your years at university wisely, Katrina advises other students.
“Don’t waste the time you have out of class! Work hard and smart. Take internships on top of your study, or pursue a hobby or entrepreneurial idea you’ve been sitting on. Industry experience and entrepreneurship will pay off in the real world and can lead you to those dream jobs.
“It’s okay not to know what you want to do for the rest of your life but getting experience through internships and volunteering will help you get a better understanding of yourself and where you fit in the industry.”
Networking is key, she adds.
“Put yourself out there and work with everyone you can. Don’t forget to connect with your classmates, after all they’re going to be the ones in this industry with you when you graduate. You never know who you might work with in the future.”