Getting an internship

It pays to know yourself, do your research and build a network when trying to secure an internship. There are extra considerations for international students.

Know yourself and what you want

Decide what kind of experience you want to gain (and why) before you start. You may want to explore careers relating to your study area or alternative options.

Check out What can I do with my degree? to give you ideas about potential career pathways.

Do your research

Use your existing networks of family and friends or the connections of your school or faculty or the relevant professional association to independently research potential employers. Check for advertised internships on NZUni Talent job board to plan ahead.

Create a list of target companies including small and medium-sized enterprises and check their websites to see how to approach them, if they have internships or recruitment programmes.

Be prepared

Most companies will have similar application and selection process for both their internship and graduate roles. Use the CV Builder, CV360 and Cover Letter Builder in our online career centre to ensure you have a strong application. You can also book workshops on CareerHub to ensure you have a strong CV, cover letter and LinkedIn profile as well as understand the interview and selection processes. Draft a script that you can adapt for telephone and email inquiries. Check our CareerHub events for preparation workshops and employer networking events.


Network at Careers and Employment events on and off-campus and use your LinkedIn profile to identify and possibly connect. Use the Getting Started on LinkedIn resource in our online career centre to help you create a good quality LinkedIn profile before you start networking.

Online networking

Identify and create your networks

Expand and maintain your networks

International students

Many formally advertised internship programmes will specifically state that applicants should be New Zealand residents or legally entitled to accept permanent employment in New Zealand, however there are exceptions especially where skills are in demand.

  • Analyse how well you meet the employer’s recruitment criteria in relation to a relevant degree, strong grades, and skills in demand such as business writing, analysis and problem solving, numeracy, computer skills, team work, customer service and leadership.
  • Become informed about Immigration New Zealand policy on work visas and eligibility.
  • Be clear about your long-term plans and goals. If you wish only to gain some work experience before heading home then you may find that other work opportunities or volunteering rather than an internship are preferable.