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Talk about getting involved at ground level.

To borrow a sporting analogy, Cory Olsen’s career path in the dynamic world of Dunedin Venues Management Ltd has been a mixture of swerves, sprints and solid, planned progress.

A year ago, in mid-July, as an Otago Polytechnic Applied Management learner on an internship with Dunedin Venues Management Ltd, Cory’s jobs included organising the Dunedin club rugby finals.

Fast forward a year.

Cory now works for DVML, with whom he’s preparing to tackle the myriad tasks likely to eventuate on game day of the All Blacks’ rugby test against Fiji at Forsyth Barr Stadium on Saturday 10 July.

Or as fellow Otago Polytechnic graduate and DVML employee Tiffany Ngawhika puts it: “We co-ordinate the chaos.”

Like Cory, Tiffany is also heavily involved in organising the upcoming All Blacks match against Fiji. Like Cory, she was offered a job at DVML earlier this year following a successful internship in 2020.

“Because DVML is the events organizer in the South, I just knew I wanted to get an internship there,” Tiffany reflects. “I was lucky enough to be picked.”

Says Cory: “The internship was so valuable. I was thrown things like organising the Dunedin club rugby finals, ethnic cricket finals, Football South events.

“The thing about events is you are always working on something different. And that variety means you are building relationships and people skills, accommodating a range of needs and requests – the sorts of things that you can’t learn at a desk.”

Tiffany and Cory are the latest success stories to emanate from an internship placement relationship between DVML and Otago Polytechnic that has just been renewed for another three years.

Otago Polytechnic and DVML recently re-signed a Memorandum of Understanding which, since being established in 2018, has resulted in Otago Polytechnic learners engaging in a range of internships and casual, voluntary placements, including on-the-ground experience in events management, sports turf management and hospitality.

The MOU continues the strong relationship between DVML and Otago Polytechnic. This includes learners studying the Bachelor of Applied Management programme, which has resulted in several graduates gaining full-time roles within DVML’s events management team.

Dunedin Venues provides guest speakers/lecturers for learners along with a range of placements, including in marketing, events management, and hospitality and catering.

DVML venues host around 500 events a year. These range from world-class concerts and international sporting fixtures at Forsyth Barr Stadium, performances at the Dunedin Town Hall, conferences at the Dunedin Centre, to events such as the Dunedin Craft Beer & Food Festival and Great Kiwi Home and Living Show.

Dunedin Venues Chief Executive Terry Davies: “DVML is excited to be renewing the valued relationship with Otago Polytechnic. 

“This partnership is a fantastic opportunity for DVML to continue providing mutually beneficial intern opportunities for Otago Polytechnic students, who are exposed to all aspects of our fast-paced working environment”.

Otago Polytechnic Chief Executive Dr Megan Gibbons says the relationship with DVML is another example of the institution empowering its learners with real skills in real environments.

“As well as preparing learners with the ability to adapt in what can be fast-moving situations, the MOU is another reminder of our commitment not only to Dunedin but the wider community.”

The relationship extends to other fields – literally, in the case of Otago Polytechnic’s New Zealand Certificate in Horticulture Services (Sports Turf) programme.

Learners in this programme have benefited from fixed-term internships with DVML that include them working at international sporting venues such as Forsyth Barr Stadium and the University of Otago Oval.

In addition, DVML experts will provide tutoring for learners and host field day experiences directly related to the programme, which is based at Otago Polytechnic’s Cromwell campus and is the only full-time sports turf programme on offer in New Zealand. 

Read more about Otago Polytechnic’s NZ Certificate in Horticulture Services (Sports Turf)

Read more about Otago Polytechnic’s Bachelor of Applied Management

Read more about Otago Polytechnic’s Hospitality Management programmes


Published on 5 Jul 2021

Orderdate: 5 Jul 2021
Expiry: 5 Mar 2022