Fonterra’s Internship Programme helping to grow the next generation of leaders


While some of us were lying on the beach and indulging in Christmas festivities, a group of university students dedicated their break to completing our 12-week Summer Internship Programme.

This is an opportunity for university students to scope out the corporate world, build their networks, and learn about the amazing things that go on at Fonterra.

 Our interns were given a key project to deliver and received coaching and mentoring in their chosen area of the Co-op – either in Sales, Marketing, Supply Chain, or Accounting and Finance.

Priya Kang, a Business student from the University of Waikato, worked as part of the Manufacturing Accounts team in Global Accounting Services, lending her skill set to our Hamilton office.  

“What I enjoyed the most was the people I met – everyone was so willing to talk and help me out."

I really got to built and grow my network too, and I gained a lot of valuable skill sets that you don’t learn at uni.  I’d like to thank everyone that has helped grow my skills to pave the way for my future within Fonterra.

Priya Kang, Fonterra Summer Intern, Global Accounting Services

Priya is no stranger to Fonterra. She worked here three summers prior to starting the internship, and her mother, father, and her grandad worked at Fonterra when she was younger.

“When I was in high school, I spent my summers doing 12-hour shifts in a science lab at the Te Rapa site, even though I didn’t have much experience in that field.  

“I’ve learnt that you don’t have to be fully qualified – tell people that you’re willing to give things a go, and they’ll give you a chance.”

Priya travelled up to Auckland once a week to work with her fellow interns on their group project, which focused on bringing our sustainability story to life to create value for the Co-op and our customers.

“We worked really well together as a group – we trusted each other, and everyone was open to new ideas and willing to give anything a go.

“It was also really great doing a project that’s relevant to us and our future as young people.”

Haylee Putaranui, Head of Diversity and Inclusion at Fonterra, says the Summer Internship programme is an integral part of our Early Careers talent pipeline and strategy.

This group of Gen Z’ers bring another age group and dynamic into mahi. On the ground, the interns bring fresh, young, and inquisitive energies and minds to teams.

Haylee Putaranui, Fonterra Head of Diversity and Inclusion

“This year’s interns were all fun, curious, and clever young people.  A particular highlight was their presentation of their group project findings, which were succinct, challenging and very current to our strategy and purpose.”