How Universities in New Zealand Help Their Students Find Jobs
How Universities in New Zealand Help Their Students Find Jobs
  • 김혜인 부장, 박주희 부장, 배정인 국장
  • 승인 2011.02.28 12:14
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There are many countries, there are many universities, and there are also various cultures, societies, and job markets. As you probably know, the job market is very tight due to the unstable economic situation in Korea; so many Korean universities have created career systems to help their students find jobs. The situation in New Zealand is a bit different from Korea. Their population is one ninth that of Korea, but their landmass is nine times that of Korea. YNO decided to look into the differences between New Zealand and Korea when it comes to university students preparing to enter the job market. We inquired at several famous universities in New Zealand such as the University of Auckland, AUT (Auckland University of Technology), and Massey University.

Korea and New Zealand have very different environments, societies, and job markets. New Zealand has one of the best welfare systems in the world. One of the best parts of that system is that any unemployed New Zealander can receive a subsidy for unemployment benefits which amounts to 272 NZD per week. Due to these generous benefits, many people do not worry seriously about finding a job. Many people in New Zealand change their jobs easily; on average they change jobs 5-6 times. Many New Zealanders think that changing jobs is part of the process of finding the ideal employment situation. Many Korean students want to get a job with a major company, but the first steps in this process are very important even though they often seem minor.
In Korea, most university students are eager to secure a stable and high paying job because of the unstable economy. The instabilities in the present global economy have created bubbles that have broken periodically over the past 15 years. Even though New Zealand has good unemployment benefits, their citizens are also concerned about their job market. Therefore, many universities are making a greater effort for their students. One example of these efforts is the CareerHub, which is operated cooperatively by seven universities in New Zealand. The system is set up so that students of the participating universities can receive assistance from any job counseling specialist from any of the universities. The seven participating universities are: The University of Auckland, Massey University, AUT (Auckland University of Technology), The University of Otago, Victoria University of Wellington, The University of Canterbury, CPIT (Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology). If their students sign-in on that page with their ID and password, they can easily get a wealth of information about jobs and contact with the career services of their university. YNO decided to take a closer look at three of these universities that have characteristics that are unique from one another.

How does the University of Auckland’s reputation factor in?
The University of Auckland is the most famous university in New Zealand. They were ranked the 46th university in the world by TIME magazine. There are several ways that they prepare students for getting a job. There are several factors that make it easier for University of Auckland students to get a job compared to other universities. The first factor is their location; they are located in Auckland which provides many opportunities to get a job. Auckland is the economic, cultural, and political center of New Zealand. The second factor deals with its deep tradition and prominent alumni. The University of Auckland started construction in 1883, and they have been graduating students for about 150 years. Their career centre makes a special effort to continue that tradition. At this point, we should learn more about their career system, motivational strategies, and the increased opportunities they create for finding jobs.

The University of Auckland's career system
The University of Auckland’s Career Centre is located in the Tower Clock building on the City Campus. When we interviewed them, many students stated they visited there to consult about future jobs and relevant courses. There are twelve staff members working there who help students with career related activities like making a CV (Curriculum Vitae), interview skills and strategies. On average 50,000 students visit there annually.
They offer one to one consultation services. All students can receive counseling from faculty whenever they want if they pre-book. Each staff member consults about every aspect of finding a job.
They also offer specialist workshops by working professionals. Experts from companies pass on practical experience, know how, strategies, and more to students.
Similar to Korea, New Zealand considers volunteer activity an important factor in getting a job because students can show their personality and humanity through these activities. Therefore, this university manages a team of student ‘volunteers’ to provide faculty support.
They also have strong relationships with major employers. Their strong alumni base allows for many good connections. The University of Auckland supports internship programs that are closely related to the major areas of study. The engineering program is a little bit different from other majors because the courses concentrate on practical knowledge, so there is less need to participate in internships. However, most students are encouraged to go through an internship before they look for a full-time job. These programs give students an opportunity to receive a great deal of practical experience they would not be able to get in the classroom.
There are also many study group associations, such as AUESS and ICEHOUSE, which are similar to study group associations in Korea. These are groups that students create on their own which allows them to study whatever they want together. The university also supports these study groups with many activities. For example, Champion Trophy is very helpful in getting a job. Students are able to get a great deal of information about jobs through these programs.
Due to these well developed programs and services they have a high employment rate. The University of Auckland is very famous for its deep tradition and reputation. They are especially famous for their business school, and almost all engineering students find jobs quickly because their course work concentrates on practical skills that companies need. Similar to Korea, companies in New Zealand consider students’ academic records. However, they also place great consideration on students’ personality and communication skills. In the global economy, business often deals with group activities, so communication skills are very important. This is not limited to spoken language. When we work, we can meet a wide variety of people, so the ability to interact well with others is necessary to understand and work well in the global economy. Therefore, the University of Auckland also concentrates on these skills.


Massey University
Massey University is the largest educational and research institute in New Zealand. There are three campuses, Palmerston North, Auckland Albany, and Wellington. For more than 80 years, this university has offered more than 200 undergraduate programs and postgraduate schools ranging from business, creative arts, education, humanities and social sciences, and sciences. This university is well known for its majors in Aviation, Veterinary Science, and Food, Nutrition and Human Health. Veterinary Science and Food, Nutrition and Human Health are especially strong departments in this university. This is due to the fact that these departments are linked directly with getting a job.

Get information from professors
University students in New Zealand get information about jobs from their professors as well as the Career and Employment Service Center. Students are interviewed by their professors about their job and curriculum. In order to find out more about the future of students in New Zealand and the consultation process, we interviewed two professors at Massey University. The interviewees were a professor of Veterinary Science and a professor of Food, Nutrition and Human Health.
Students of the Veterinary Science department mostly hope to work in clinical practices. The other students want to “specialize” in one particular area. Through the veterinary school, this department offers a number of ‘life skills’ courses which are part of the curriculum. In these courses topics such as leadership, teamwork, communication, self-management, and preparation for first jobs are all taught.
The main degree offered by the Food, Nutrition and Human Health department is a four-year Bachelor’s honors degree in the area of food technology. Most students who complete this degree prefer a technical job in industry, but many move on to management quite quickly even though they have no real desire to do so when they graduate. This department offers a full range of Post Graduate qualifications such as PG Diplomas, Masters Degrees, and PhDs. There are actually as many post graduate research students as undergraduates.

Get information from career advisors
Massey University's Albany campus on Auckland's North Shore offers 70 majors and a number of specialized programs. This campus’ courses are taught by leading lecturers and researchers to give their students an edge in the job market. We conducted an interview with a career advisor at the Albany campus.
This university provides a well built on-line service. Students can learn strategies for choosing a career, looking for work, and applying for work. Choosing a career field gives information about important points for finding a job. When looking for work, submitting a good application is vital - as is detailed preparation for any interviews and other selection processes that the employer might use. Information dealing with these matters can be obtained through these programs. Students usually use this service before they meet with career advisors. Students actually use on-line services more than off-line services. The need for counseling became clear when students began looking for answers to fundamental questions; for example, how do I get a job. Career advisors play the role of job consultant. They make across the board suggestions about a student's career. This campus has specifically offered programs like the Accounting and Finance Expo, CV writing,PricewaterhouseCoopers(PWC) application process presentation, interview preparation workshop.
Most students hope to get a professional job in fields like law, medicine, engineering, accountancy and teaching as well as business, agriculture, research, government, and design. However, many students at this university think differently from students in Korea. They do not all get jobs immediately after graduation because they proceed step by step. For example, if they want to get a job, they start to learn from experience. They learn through real experience. For this reason, after students graduate, they continue to study about their major or travel. Travelling abroad helps teach people skills which is one of the top 10 skills/attributes identified by employers. In short, career advisors help students understand the help that they can provide and allow students to access a wide range of useful tools and resources.


AUT (Auckland University of Technology)
AUT was established in 2000, and it is the newest of the 8 major universities in New Zealand. There are 26,002 students and a wide variety of departments. It is the newest university, but its history in industry-relevant education is over 110 years old. There are five major colleges at AUT each comprised of various majors. There are the College of Applied humanities, the College of Business & Law, the College of Design and Creative Technologies, the College of Health and Environmental Sciences, and the College of Te Ara Poutama (Maori development).
The unique and outstanding specialty of AUT is based on the philosophy that it prepares students who will become experts in their chosen area of work and provides them with skills that can be applied in multiple situations and across different fields. Students enhance their marketable skills and academic knowledge through work-based education. This allows students to take a proactive approach in real-life professional environments. Students have a chance to apply the theories they have learned in the classroom when going into the workplace. All of the courses are vocational and relative to real industries, which makes students competitive in different job fields.
Small class sizes are a characteristic of AUT. This is especially true in the school of Hospitality and Tourism, where there are some very practical courses in patisserie and culinary arts. Small class sizes ensure that each student spends valuable time with their lecturers and tutors. Much of the faculty lecturing at AUT have worked in specialized areas and bring their expertise and significant industry experience to AUT. In the case of the school of Hospitality and Tourism, faculty members have worked in some of the country's top hotels and restaurants. It better enables students to learn and gain more than just a theoretical understanding of the work.
“Flexible curriculum” refers to the fact that the faculty is constantly updating what and how they teach to meet the changing demands of industry. Work placements are a common part of many programs offered at AUT. These give students experience in real-life work situations. In addition, faculty members give tutorials; provide counseling, and offer online forums. As a result the employment rate of AUT graduates is fairly high, 82%.

University Career Services
University Career Services are well-organized; there are 5 staff members who support students in various ways. During the academic year, they organize and host events such as career fairs, employer presentations, and information sessions to assist employers and other recruiting organizations to reach their target student audience. Employers advertise job vacancies, placement or project work through CareerHub online. Current AUT students and alumni can access CareerHub to use the CV builder and view CV samples. They also offer "Write Your CV", "Networking Practice", "Finding Part-time Work", and "Job Interview Practice" workshops for AUT students. When students make an appointment to see a career consultant, they can also act as an interviewer and give feedback.

Career support systems at YU
As a big university with twenty-two departments, YU is trying to support students with its own career development methods. As a result, YU ranked number 1 in the actual number of students who find employment in the nation. YU is focused on the philosophy that good policies based on the YU Glocal Initiative will have a positive impact on cultivating global talent. In order to nurture talented people, YU systematically operates 167 special programs.
YU has developed YAT (Y-type Aptitude Test) and YU CAN (YU Career Advancement Nurture) programs, and it is currently offering programs for all students in order to provide customized-support after establishing their aptitude once they enter school. Moreover, YU is dedicated to supporting students both materially and morally. It sponsors job interview study groups, which are voluntary and are designed to help students prepare for finding future employment. Operating costs and study rooms are provided by the university, and outside experts are invited by the university to speak to the students. Consequently, study group members achieved close to a 90% employment rate with major companies. YU specifically hired managers to support students' careers and their new businesses. These managers offer specialized counseling and support concerning finding jobs and starting businesses. YU also opened the YB room for free in order to motivate students to study in an atmosphere of freedom and to promote discussion. Moreover, there is a great deal of industry-university collaboration related to finding employment. Students can easily access programs related to finding a future career. They can also get information on the student career development office's web site. The office not only posts job openings, but they also have on-line video content that provides useful information such as: making documents for employment, ways to answer for interview question types, aptitude tests for major enterprises, and image-making. Audio content that helps students prepare for interviews in English is also part of the service. The career development center for female students provides a variety of programs. The center operates programs that deal with presentation skills, communication skills, image-making, and self-leadership. It also provides opportunities to prepare for specific jobs such as flight attendants, marketing mangers in hospitals, CS experts, secretaries, and medical tourism coordinators. Moreover, the center helps students to earn a certificate of MOS master and opens TOEIC courses.

We stayed about two weeks in New Zealand, and it seemed that like this country's people looked laid-back like tourist. Their attitude was very different from our country. Our country is very busy every day regardless of a person's age or sex. These are just cultural differences, there is no right or wrong. However, real experience is truly an important thing in our lives. Korean university students also have many experiences for their future. However, the experience of most Korean students tends to be focused on just getting a job. It is a regrettable situation, and there is much left to be desired. Therefore, university students need real experience in their life. The purpose of this article is one we are all familar with, but this article gives us a chance to look back on our own lives and ask "what is the real value of our experiences?"

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