Skills will help grow careers

Interns Luke Fisher and Emma Hinton have been enjoying their stint at AbacusBio. PHOTO: GREGOR...
Interns Luke Fisher and Emma Hinton have been enjoying their stint at AbacusBio. PHOTO: GREGOR RICHARDSON
From fitness to farming, Luke Fisher is relishing his career move into the primary industries.

English-born Mr Fisher, a business manager for Farmlands at its Motueka branch, has been in Dunedin for six weeks as one of two interns in the AGMARDT-AbacusBio international internship programme.

He is joined by Emma Hinton, who is business manager at Farmlands’ Leeston branch in Canterbury.

The five-month programme was introduced last year for people employed in the agri-business, agri-food or agri-tech sectors.

It was focused on helping interns develop core and transferable skills that could be practically applied in their role.

Those skills were intended to help interns progress from their current roles to higher positions as the industry’s future decision-makers.

Mr Fisher migrated to New Zealand after completing a degree in sport and leisure management. Prior to Farmlands, he worked in the fitness industry.

When he saw the role advertised with the rural services and supplies co-operative, he thought it was something "completely different".

He had only ever worked for small companies and wanted to join a big company. He had not looked back, he said.

His previous knowledge of the rural sector was limited to his experiences growing up in the farming region of Norfolk.

He was loving being part of the sector, where the store’s customers were mainly horticulture-based, particularly apple and hops, and a small amount of dairy around Golden Bay, he said.

With a long-standing interest in farming and agriculture, Ms Hinton graduated from Massey University in 2013 with a degree in agricultural science, majoring in equine.

A keen horsewoman, she joined Farmlands the following year in retail sales before progressing to assistant manager and then business manager in 2017.

The pair spent the first part of their internships based in AbacusBio’s Dunedin office. It will be followed by a stint at the agribusiness consulting company’s Edinburgh office.

It had been "mind-blowing" to spend time with the company, Ms Hinton said.

"When you’re in a retail environment, you’re in a little bubble just dealing with what you know."

Agriculture was such a big part of New Zealand and being involved in an industry that was constantly changing was "so exciting".


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