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Meet our new ambassador – Ryan ‘The Lion’!

By Galena Ilg
March 10 2021

Posted in Blog

Here at Summer of Tech, we feel lucky to be surrounded by super-supporters who back our mission. One of these stars is Ryan ‘The Lion’ Ashton, founder of A Few Quiet Yarns. He has recently come on board as a Summer of Tech ambassador. He agrees that internships are a crucial step in the learning-to-earning journey – here’s why!

Internships solve the job/experience loop

“I still vividly remember the day I got told ‘come back when you’ve got five years’ experience’”, says Ryan. “As a cheeky young person, I asked ‘Why don’t I start and get five years’ experience now?’ I was told that’s not how it works. Later, I saw Summer of Tech doing amazing work to break this loop.” Ryan says he’d like to support those who are taking action to expedite the process and change the system.

Paying it forward 

“I really enjoy coaching people,” He explains. “Whether it’s sports or tech, seeing people make progress is one of my key motivators.” With Summer of Tech, I’m able to get involved with the bootcamps for interns and hopefully impart some wisdom that will help students achieve their own goals – whether that’s to get an awesome job, awesome experience, or to prove themselves. 

Why tech?

“Tech enables us to do so much more,” says Ryan. He’s also been surrounded by tech for most of his life. “I was two years old when my mother completed her computer science degree. She worked in a bit of admin, and then started working an IT job when I was about eight.” As part of the first wave of female tech professionals in NZ, she opposed plenty of gender-normative views during the role. “She’s been a major role model for me.”

Internships can be a win/win. 

Internships are valuable for both businesses and students – it goes both ways. Ryan’s example – “In Germany students are expected to take three internships, to experience three workplaces before they settle. Their society gives interns visibility. Ours should do the same.” If every organisation gives back, all organisations share the load equally. It’s not a matter of some do, some don’t – nobody gets left behind. Internships also provide plenty of benefits to employers. “If your client base is full of the next generation, what better way to stay in touch than to include them in your team?” Onboarding interns keeps the organisation in touch with the next generation, and keeps ideas fresh – students enter the workplace with plenty of new insights and perspectives from their recent studies. 


Thank you, Ryan, for sharing your awesome perspective on the value of student internships. If you are interested in becoming a Summer of Tech ambassador – nice one! Just reach out to us here.

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