Work-Integrated Learning leads to major event experiences

Source: Massey University


Massey alumni and New Zealand Rugby digital content producer Callum Smith interviews Canterbury player Nathan Vella.


Next week, Massey University Bachelor of Sport and Exercise graduate Callum Smith will be the guest speaker at the Beehive in Wellington for the New Zealand Association of Cooperative Education (NZACE) Conference, which promotes Work-Integrated Learning. The conference, which is sponsored by Massey University, will be opened by Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson.

Mr Smith is currently working for New Zealand Rugby as its digital content producer. During his final year at Massey he undertook work placement at the Manawatu Rugby Union as its match enhancement manager for the Manawatu Turbos.

“My experiences were challenging, yet rewarding and I accomplished tasks and pulled off events that I couldn’t have imagined,” he says. “The work environment was great and I received suggestions and help from a number of people.

“I developed my management skills through learning to effectively plan, organise, execute and control enhancement activities, and had the opportunity to develop a large range of contacts through networking with people from inside and outside the sports industry.”

He has already gained extensive mega-event experience, first working on the Masters Games in Auckland in 2017 as a venues assistant, before being employed at New Zealand Rugby as the marketing and ticketing coordinator for the New Zealand Sevens. He also went to the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast in 2018 where he was a transport manager.

Professor Andy Martin, who coordinates Massey’s Sport Event Management and Sport Practicum courses and is the conference manager and board member for NZACE, says, “Callum has developed quite a remarkable event management and marketing CV in a short space of time. He’s a great example of where a Massey degree can take graduates and how the sport practicum provides a significant stepping stone to enhance graduate employability.

“The insights Callum will be able to share will highlight the importance of understanding how to add value through event design and planning, and marketing and communication. His new role also exemplifies the added value that graduates can bring to an organisation, particularly in the rapidly developing areas of digital communication, online marketing and social media,” Professor Martin says.

Massey’s new Sport Development major,within the revised Bachelor of Sport and Exercise, will help prepare students for work in the varied and growing area of sport development by providing knowledge in topics such as sport organisational structure and function, event and facility management and sport coaching, along with sociological, performance and business issues linked to sport.

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Student helps create craft beer with gin

Source: Massey University


Massey student Tash Snowball Kui and Lila, the Juniper Wit beer she helped create


Most students leave their summer internship with new skills or knowledge or maybe even a job offer, but Tash Snowball Kui gets to leave with a beer she helped create.

Studying a Bachelor of Engineering with Honours (Chemical and Bioprocess Engineering), Miss Kui landed a summer role with Taranaki Gin Distillery, BeGin, researching how the water by-product from BeGin’s distilling process, could be used to create a beer.

The Belgian Wit was released on January 5 by Three Sisters Brewery, named “Lila”, after the largest of BeGin’s copper stills. It is currently in five stores around Taranaki, with plans to produce more batches later in the year for further distribution.

Miss Kui says that people’s reactions to the beer have been amazing.

“It’s the first-ever gin / beer that I have heard of in New Zealand. As a student, to make something, it’s pretty amazing. It’s definitely one of the best things I’ve done in my life so far.

“At the start we started off with just the still-water, which is the by-product that comes out of the distillation and then we ran some tests on it to see if there were any starches that could be used for fermentation for beer. We found some, so we decided to do a trial brew batch. The trial batch was quite zesty, quite orangey and a real light summer beer, which was different from the final batch. Which was surprising as when we increased the amount that we made, it changed the flavours, so we added gin and juniper berries to it as well and got a whole new flavour.”

“It is such an achievement because I’ve never really done anything like this. I’m being able to do something I love and learn new things, other than just learning the theory of it at university.”

BeGin’s Dave James, Jo James and Tash Snowball Kui, and Three Sister’s owner Joe Emans; Tash Snowball Kui.


From idea to beer

The initial idea came from BeGin owners, Jo and Dave James, who have a strong commitment to sustainability in their business. 

Jo James says that they try to find alternative uses for the by-products of their signature Juno gin. 

“When you are making gin, you end up with solid and liquid material at the end. The solid material is the juniper berries, which goes to a local chocolatier Giles who makes Juno Gin truffles, which are delicious. But we hadn’t found a home for the liquids and it was a discussion with the beermakers at the Auckland Food Show where we came up with the idea. Because it’s had all this juniper through it, it’s got starches and sugars, could we use that to ferment and make a beer? We didn’t know, so we were really looking for someone who could take that project on and run with it. “We had an application for an internship from Tash who said her interest were brewing, so it was a no-brainer.”

“The beer is delicate, refreshing and delicious — a perfect middle ground upon which craft beer and gin enthusiasts alike can get excited.”

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Mastering sports event management

Source: Massey University


Amanda Isada, Masters in Sport Management graduate and business administration manager at Volleyball New Zealand.


A year ago, Amanda Isada was completing her Masters in Sport Management undertaking a professional practice placement with Harbour Sport and Harbour Volleyball in Auckland. Next month, she will manage the 51st Volleyball New Zealand Secondary School Championships held at the Central Energy Trust Arena Manawatu and Massey University – a role she picked up as a direct result of her Work-Integrated Learning (WIL) experience.

The business administration manager for Volleyball New Zealand says the WIL placement was very rewarding. “I learnt so much about community sports, marketing, communications and event management. Not only did I learn about the organisation, but I learned about myself as well. How I work with others, what part of the industry I want to pursue, what type of people I would want to work for and with. I was able to contribute to the organisations, and there was never a dull moment.”

Professor Andy Martin from the School of Sport, Exercise and Nutrition supervises the WIL placements. His recent research focused on how to enhance supervision and student WIL experiences. The research, funded by Ako Aotearoa, was undertaken in conjunction with colleagues from Auckland University of Technology, University of Waikato, the New Zealand Council for Educational Research, and Malcolm Rees, manager of Massey’s Student Survey and Evaluation Unit.

Professor Martin’s findings highlighted that workplace supervisor support in setting expectations and engaging in the initial planning and organising were important factors in effective management of the WIL placement. “The workplace supervisor role then moved beyond providing the student direction and feedback to more of a mentoring role. This role provided them with professional development and continued to be valuable into the future,” he says.

Ms Isada’s experience reinforces these findings. “My mentors and colleagues were very supportive in every way. I learned so much from them and talked to them about various things happening in sports around North Harbour, Auckland and the country. My colleagues gave me advice in terms of personal growth; my mentors helped my professional growth. The culture is great and gave me an understanding of the kind of environment I would want to work in, the kind of people I want to work with, and the kind of person I should be as well.”

Professor Martin says, “The student focus on setting clear expectations for themselves and the placement, and making the most of the WIL experience is important in enhancing the development of Massey graduate’s employability characteristics, such as of self-management, effective communication and leadership.”

Next month’s national volleyball tournament will be supported by current Massey sport development students who will be helping at the event in volunteer roles.

 “The new sport development majorwithin the revised Bachelor of Sport and Exercise will help prepare students for work in the varied and growing area of sport development by providing knowledge in topics such as sport organisational structure and function, event and facility management and sport coaching, along with sociological, performance and business issues linked to sport,” Professor Martin says.

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