Discover how our relationship with forward-thinking employers such as Countdown enabled Kaden to secure a Be. Tertiary Internship that was a perfect fit for his strengths, skills and his need for flexibility.
Kaden grew up in South Auckland but now enjoys the hustle and bustle of the central city. If he's not exploring local cafés or the waterfront on foot, he's hanging out with his flatmates in his inner-city apartment.
Kaden prides himself on his organisational skills and punctuality. "The only time I'm late is because of public transport", he laughs. A problem solver at heart, he has an analytical mind and is highly driven to "get things done".
Currently completing a Bachelor of Social Sciences at Auckland University, majoring in Geography, Kaden had considered internships in the past but was yet to find the right fit.
He was seeking an internship with a flexible and understanding organisation, allowing him to work from home when needed. And then, out of the blue, Inclusive Learning Auckland emailed Kaden about Be. Lab's Tertiary Internship programme – our unique 12-week paid internship for Kiwis with access needs or disabilities.
Designed to be a career pathway programme, our experienced relationship managers work with motivated access citizens to match them with meaningful work experience in their areas of study or aspiration.
Kaden reached out and was immediately connected with Relationship Manager, Michael Stevens. Michael worked with Kaden to improve his CV, and he completed a personality assessment to identify his key strengths.
It was only a few months later that Kaden secured an internship at Countdown in their online delivery department. His role included route planning for the delivery drivers, but he was also involved in several other exciting projects that set the direction for future changes.
Richard Lee, Countdown Chapter Lead - deliveryX Routing and Optimisation, was impressed by Kaden's curiosity and ability to analyse problems and create solutions.
According to Richard, Kaden's innovative work has left a positive legacy – including reduced customer complaints for missing or damaged goods. And for Kaden, the level of responsibility gave him a much-needed confidence boost. "I felt like I was making a real difference", he says.
The internship ticked a lot of boxes - including the flexibility to work from home when needed, which was particularly important when the recent floods hit Auckland.
"My bedroom flooded, and I had to move in with my parents", Kaden explains. "It was a really stressful time, so I was grateful for Countdown’s flexibility and support".
Countdown Talent Lead, Andrew Baker says that Countdown recognises that the world of work has changed and that offering flexibility is now a must. "As an organisation, we have committed to support flexibility across our business. We know that teams do their best work when they can access the right physical environment and technology to support their delivery".
Going beyond offering flexibility, Countdown has committed to becoming a truly inclusive workplace by 2025.
“We want all team members to bring their true selves to work", explains Andrew. "We recognise that our ability to embrace true diversity is a strength and our goal is to have a workforce representative of the communities we serve".
This forward-thinking approach sets employers like Countdown apart and enables talent like Kaden to thrive.
Armed with a newfound confidence in his abilities, Kaden credits the internship at Countdown for opening his mind to future career possibilities. "My time at Countdown helped me broaden my career options. I originally wanted to work in cartography and mapping, but now I can also see opportunities in logistics and operations".
Kaden is grateful to Be. for believing in him and helping him secure an internship that was a perfect fit for his skills and needs.
"I loved my internship and felt supported the whole way. I highly recommend the Be. Tertiary Internship programme to anyone needing hands-on experience and a supportive culture".
We wish you all the best, Kaden!