Whakakāngia tō umanga: Maori Internship at ASB

30 June 2017 / Published in News & Stories

Whakakāngia tō umanga, ASB’s summer Māori internship programme is open to current and recently graduated university students looking to get a solid start to building a career in business and finance. It’s an opportunity to explore many different pathways within banking, and to apply and hone everything you’ve learned during study.

Applications are currently open and close Friday June 30th. To apply, submit your application and CV via the ASB Careers website.

Puawai Kopu, Claudia McMeekin-Curran and Talia Hullena are three graduates from the 2016 cohort. We spoke with these three to understand how their time in the programme has kick-started their careers. Here are their thoughts and some advice for anyone applying.

Why did you join the programme?

Puawai: I had some choices to make about ‘what next’ after university, especially around my career journey. What I embraced as a part of my studies was this idea I could explore different paths; to utilise my degree and experience in different ways. ASB provided the perfect opportunity for that exploration.  I had never worked in banking prior to the internship, I’d never practically applied my process improvement learning, and where else are you able to test-drive a whole career?

If you’re offered a chance to try something like an internship, you would be crazy not to grab it with both hands and allow yourself to be just a little bit brave.

What’s the most important thing you got out of the summer internship programme?

Puawai: There were two important lessons I learned from my time as an intern.

Lesson 1: Bravery pays off, and a comfort zone can be stretched and made to fit around a whole new space as well as new people. ASB is an inviting, engaging and diverse place to work.

I threw myself into being an intern and understanding what it means to work for ASB, and I’m overwhelmed by the wairua in this working space. Good people and challenging stretch goals you can take ownership of is great.

Lesson 2: I really like process improvement (No really, I do). The internship did exactly what I hoped it would when I applied. It allowed me to test-drive what it meant to work in a continuous improvement space, from requirement gathering, to mapping, solution and implementation and it’s really cool. My placement in the Wealth & Insurance Business Performance team was perfect and proved ideal for showing me the practical application of my Information Systems studies. 

Claudia: Networking is key. Being placed in the commercial department of the bank, it showed me that their entire business revolved around networking. The more connections and networks they have, the more referrals they are able to get. You must be able to confidently talk to people and develop relationships to go further in your career.

What does a typical day in a life of an ASB Whakakāngia tō umanga intern look like?

Talia: Being in People and Culture and People Operations (HR), I can say no two days are the same. I’m continuously on my feet learning policies, practices and online tools that ASB implement, follow and live by. These processes are crucial in not only ensuring the day to day running of ASB but also the overall success of ASB. Other than that you can find me outside enjoying lunch with the other interns!

How did the Maori internship open your eyes to life in a corporate?

Claudia: I never ever thought I would be working in the bank because I thought that I did not fit the ‘corporate’ style. However, I came to realise that the corporate sector is not as scary as I thought it would be and you can fit quite easily into it. There is a very good balance between professionalism and also just having a good laugh!

What is the most fun thing you got to do on the internship programme?

Talia: Probably attending and partaking in the presentation skills workshop. Although presenting can be quite scary I know we all took away a lot of learnings from the two day course and all became a lot more confident in ourselves and in the way we speak/present. A second highlight would be being casted for the upcoming ASB TV ad which is promoting the Lions rugby tour.

What words of wisdom do you have for the next cohort?

Puawai: So many things!

Crack the timid shell early.  Three months goes really fast, make the most of your time here.

Meet all the people.  Be intentional with who you meet and it is up to you to engage. Our cohort set up meetings as a group with people – that’s good too if you don’t want to go solo-styles by yourself.

Ask for more.  It’s inevitable that you find yourself with capacity, so ask your mentor if there are things you can help with (that’s how I got to go interview Branch staff!).  Ask in your team if you can shadow.  Just keep asking, because you’re in a unique space and should make the most of it.

Get involved.  Go to the Friday drinks, meet new people.  Join an event.  Give blood.  Join the kapahaka group. Whatever it is, you should do it. ASB is a safe space, so feel free to spread your wings a bit.

Talia: I cannot stress enough how important it is to network and create relationships with key people in ASB. If you want to be successful in this or any organisation (or generally in life) you need to know and surround yourself with successful people.

Where to next?

Puawai: Personally, this year marks the start of my Te Reo journey, so I’m learning to speak the language and I’ve signed up for the ASB Te Reo classes on Wednesday night.  I’ve also joined the ASB Kapahaka group too, because singing the reo helps me learn to speak the reo. I’ve also put my hand up to sit on the Board of Trustees for my Marae, so many culture based goals for me now.

Professionally, I would definitely like to do something in the process improvement space. When I said I was hooked, I wasn’t kidding. This type of work is a really good fit.  Ideally still with ASB as well, because I really enjoy the culture and the people here.

Applications are currently open and close Friday June 30th

To apply, submit your application and CV via the ASB Careers website.

ASB is committed to embracing diversity and inclusion as we believe it plays a key role in achieving our vision of being an unbeatable team delivering unbeatable service. We need our people to come from diverse backgrounds so that we can understand and reflect both the diverse range of people who bank with us and the communities in which we operate. Māori are the indigenous people of Aotearoa, whose ongoing success is crucial to the prosperity of all New Zealanders. Pacific people are a diverse and dynamic group with the fastest growing young population in New Zealand.


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