Students' Antipodean challenge

International Business Academy students Andrea Urbankova, of the Czech Republic, Morten Sorensen,...
International Business Academy students Andrea Urbankova, of the Czech Republic, Morten Sorensen, of Denmark, and Erzsebet Jakab, of Romania, in Dunedin yesterday. Photo by Gerard O'Brien.
Marketing of dentistry and triathlon training are among the subjects tackled by 11 business students from five European countries on an exchange programme in Otago.

The students, here for three to four months, are part of an ongoing exchange programme organised by the Denmark-based International Business Academy (IBA).

During their exchange they work with an organisation undertaking a project, which they are then required to write a thesis about as part of their study.

Co-ordinator of the New Zealand Pacific region for IBA, Clare Dorking, of Dunedin, said matching students with employers was important.

It was not a just matter of an organisation having a space to fill; the students needed to be able to contribute something and not be a burden.

About 50 Otago employers have had students in the past 10 years.

Multipeak fitness director Cindy Bradburn said she had been initially reluctant to take on a student because she thought it would be time consuming, but it had not worked out that way.

Student Erzsebet Jakab (28) from Romania had been able to compile information which could be used to help the business tailor its marketing to new clients, something she would not have had the time to do.

Ms Jakab was one of three students who spoke to the Otago Daily Times yesterday about their projects.

Andrea Urbankova (21), of the Czech Republic, used her sporting background, including four years' experience at a gymnasium for elite athletes, in her work with Impact Consulting to market the Otago Polytechnic's new triathlon academy.

Morten Sorensen (21), one of three students from Denmark, has used his time in the country to help Steve Duncan Dentists Ltd look at the feasibility of extending the business into the United Kingdom.

The students stay with host families and they have to pay their own way, although Ms Dorking pointed out that those lucky enough to be Danish-born were paid by their government.

Last night, the students, eight working with Dunedin employers, two in Queenstown and one in Cromwell, spoke about their projects at a special function in Dunedin.

Ms Dorking said the students who participated in the exchange had to have determination to come such a long way, undertake the work and then speak publicly about it in a language which was not their mother tongue.

- elspeth.mclean@odt.co.nz

 

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