A group of Nelson Tasman businesses (the 'Nelson Tasman Innovation Neighbourhood' – NTIN) welcomed seven interns to the region this summer as part of the Summer of Tech programme. This is the first time the region has been involved in the national internship programme that has been finding, growing and matching New Zealand’s student tech talent with opportunities over the past 12 years.
NTIN collaborates on common business issues to support regional development, such as talent attraction and retention. They identified Summer of Tech as an opportunity to encourage tertiary students to consider Nelson Tasman as a place to work and live, as well as create future ambassadors for the region by ensuring they had an extraordinary summer working in the region.
Feedback from the interns was very positive with all saying the programme exceeded their expectations. It opened their eyes to the type of industries, clever businesses and opportunities available in the region and they all highly valued the group sessions and opportunity to network with senior staff from each organisation.
The group sessions included tours or training sessions at Cawthron Institute, Sealord and New Zealand King Salmon, as well as a "mini-hackathon" session at Datacom where the interns identified problems, built their 'big idea', wire framing a product and presenting that as a business. The interns also took part in a career panel discussion facilitated by Intepeople, where three Nelson Tasman IT professionals shared career insights and advice.
NTIN is a collaboration between Nelson Regional Development Agency, Sealord, New Zealand King Salmon, Pic's Peanut Butter, Datacom, Cawthron Institute, Wakatū Incorporation, Intepeople, and Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology.
They are looking to build on the programme in the 2019/20 summer.