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The University of Otago medical student has spent the past four months modelling in the Italian city, but returned to Dunedin to carry out further research for his biomedical science thesis for an honours degree.
He will be here for the next month, investigating how pregnancy affects the pancreas, and will complete his work while back in Milan.
After modelling for four years with AliMcD Agency, the 23-year-old was recruited by Independent Men, a top international male modelling agency. So far, he had done print jobs for catalogues and look books, but no "big jobs".
In a typical day he could be moving between five castings or working on a fashion shoot.
"The best thing about Milan for models is there is a lot of work," he said.
Independent Men worked on 50% commission "so they do the schmoozing and we have to seal the deal".
Mr Burnett may describe the city as the "fashion capital of the world", but it was not that different from working in Dunedin.
"Being on a shoot is being on a shoot. It's not really that intimidating if you just take it in your stride.
"Milan is the fashion capital of the world and everyone wants to be there so many people work for free. Everything about Milan is work, work, work [but] it's really cool; it's really different."