At any one point in time, over 4000 student engineers are undertaking a BE degree. As part of this degree, students need to complete practical work hours. This month, we catch up with Sam Gibb, General Manager at CMW Geosciences who talks about the value of taking on student interns.

As a business, why do you take on engineering interns?

Taking on interns is a great way for CMW Geosciences to engage with universities, their students and build our brand. CMW Geosciences gets the opportunity to work with the next generation of engineers, which gives them exposure to the industry.

Our existing staff get the opportunity to develop their monitoring skills whilst training and working with the interns. Often, the interns stay with CMW Geosciences once they graduate for their first role in the industry which is a fantastic opportunity for both parties.

How many interns do you take on each year, and what traits do you look for in interns?

We generally take on two or three interns in each of our five New Zealand offices. We really want interns that are pro-active, outgoing and excited to get involved and learn.

How do you work closely with the tertiary institutions to obtain engineering interns?

All of our offices have connections to their local tertiary institutes, where we hold presentations and attend employer sessions for students. We try and ensure our intern opportunities are advertised directly to the students through the engineering faculties.

What have you experienced in taking on interns?

Taking on interns is a great way to introduce emerging engineers to CMW Geosciences . As I mentioned above, it's common that the interns stay with us for their first professional role in the industry after graduation. This means once graduating, we are able to employ engineers that know our company, our systems, and our people. Engaging with the universities means the next generation of engineers embarking on their careers already know who CMW Geosciences are.

Also, most of our interns join CMW Geosciences over their summer break which coincides with our busiest time. With construction in full swing, all hands on deck are welcomed. Having young, energised interns join the team is also a great addition to our company culture.

CMW Geosciences

Interns working at CMW Geosciences.

Are there any examples of engineering interns who have progressed their careers with CMW Geosciences?

A number of interns in all offices have stayed with CMW Geosciences for their first professional role after graduation. One example of this was an intern we took on in Tauranga for the 2018 summer, who subsequently took a full-time position in our Auckland office and has now progressed to Project Manager.

Have your existing staff benefited from coaching interns?

Definitely, bringing in interns annually is a great way for our second and third-year graduates to pass on the knowledge they have learnt since joining us and work on their mentoring and training skills.

How does CMW Geosciences support their interns?

All interns are provided full inductions and training for everything that they do. Team Leaders work with the interns to ensure they have the support they require and are getting the best experience possible during their time with CMW Geosciences . Generally, our interns will be buddied up with second and third year graduates to guide them through tasks and learn the ropes.

For any employer of engineers who is considering taking on interns, what tips would you give them?

Speak with your local universities. They have resources available to help set you up with interns and are keen to engage with the industry to get placements for their students. The benefits for the business are numerous – from upskilling your existing staff from a leadership perspective, to having a constant stream of young, eager employees.

With five branches around New Zealand, are there opportunities for interns to have a ‘regional OE’?

Absolutely, we take in interns in all locations and the opportunities are out there if students are keen to live and work in a different part of New Zealand. In all of our offices, we have a wide geographical spread of projects and opportunities arise to work all over New Zealand regardless of which office you are based in.