French Interns are delivering top results

26 November 2019 Posted in Community Involvement IT

It’s interesting to see that France is climbing as a source of Tech and a recent article, which you can find here, Why French Tech is Having a Moment, gives some insights into the growth of French Tech companies into the USA. We do keep an eye on trends in IT in general as our Alpha IT and Project Plus division are closely involved in sourcing great IT talent from all over the globe.

And we also have our own French story to tell. Alpha has been an active supporter of young people, both from here in New Zealand and internationally. Just on 5 years ago Alpha Recruitment were graced by two young French women, Lucie and Margaux, who came as interns for six months to learn the business of recruitment in our fast changing and increasing technology led industry.  Since then we have been fortunate that New Zealand is growing as a desirable destination for interns from France who are expected to complete at least one six month international internship as part of their business studies. Most of these young people have never been to New Zealand before and it’s proven to be a remarkable experience for them and for us.  For the last two years we have taken up to four at any given time and we have just completed our latest intake for the first six months of 2020.

Why France you ask?

  1. We just been amazed by the attitude and innovativeness of the interns we have had, they have far exceeded our expectations.
  2. The interns have added a fundamental contribution to our marketing and brand awareness.
  3. They are technology savvy in social media, and in new and existing marketing tools, and have brought these skills with them to their projects.
  4. Because they come from a long way away, the ones who do come are pretty focussed on making it a rewarding experience.
  5. They’re dedicated, punctual and “hungry” for knowledge.

We have had interns from Spain and Germany, and continue to have them from New Zealand.  Many good young people, but getting commitment from them for six months hasn’t always been easy and doesn’t seem to suit either the German or New Zealand business school study requirements. 

What do they do?

The interns are screened on what they wish to achieve from the internship, some are more Marketing focused, some in HR, and others in Finance. We ensure that they get exposure to the full company and its operations, and work hard to find projects that allow them to practice the key skills they wish to develop.  At least one each year has the chance to find their replacements, involving spreading the word, pre-screening and interviewing prospective interns, presenting their short list to a Senior IT Consultant who completes the final selection. This process helps  them to understand the challenges and processes in recruitment first hand.

We allow a lot of flexibility, with the opportunity for local travel. This gives them the opportunity to engage with NZ and learn more about our beautiful country, culture, as well as  learning English in both a formal and social way.

The future.

In a market where skills are short, we at Alpha Recruitment have taken it upon ourselves to develop young people, both locally and through bringing top global talent to New Zealand.  We’re proud to see these bright young people grow and mature, and it seems to happen in such a short span of time. We notice a clear distinction from the time they arrive, to 6 months later, when it’s time to return home to France.

My Colleague, Merle Holland shares:

“French Universities encourage global Internships for their French Students, who take up these Internships.  New Zealand, is quite the destination for them, and often some have not travelled out of France, or even away from their families. The calibre we are attracting now is very high, in the IT, Marketing and Finance areas. These young people pick up work very easily, once they settle into NZ.  They usually spend the first two weeks sorting accommodation, bank accounts etc, under our guidance, but they are self-sufficient, and confident enough to work their way around, without any help, showing their own initiative.   Due to their level of English, often it takes them a little time to get used to how we work and operate.   They settle into our business really well, working with our large CRM system, and picking things up quickly.  We have had some exceptional Interns, one who was in the French Handball team, a world renown team, and he also ran Marathons while he was here in NZ, so it was nice to see his development blossom. We’ve kept in touch, now that he has returned to France, where he is quite the entrepreneur.  All of the Interns, experience huge development and growth within the 6 months period,  and by end of their time,  are often very sad about leaving.”    

It's an old saying but true that youth are the future and globalisation means that we need to invest in young people across the globe as well as our own.

We would be interested in hearing if your company takes on any of these international young people and what your experiences have been…


Christopher Kourie


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