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Frequently asked questions

We get asked a lot of questions about how the Summer of Tech works. We’ve put together the most commonly asked questions to help you along. If you still have more questions, don’t hesitate to contact us.

What is Summer of Tech?

Summer of Tech (SoT) is a non-profit, industry-led programme that helps bridge the gap between New Zealand industry needs and tertiary student/graduate readiness.  “Tech” means ICT and digital design, and our candidates are currently studying at a New Zealand tertiary, interested in a career in tech.

What is a Summer of Tech Internship?

Our definition of an “internship” is a full time, paid summer job. Usually from mid November-mid February (approximately 400 hours).  It is mentored & supervised closely by the host employer, and the intern works on real tech projects. There is an employment contract in place, and usually no expectation of ongoing work beyond the summer.

We ask all employers in our SoT Interns programme to abide by these Industry guidelines on what makes a good IT internship.

What is a Summer of Tech Job?

In 2017, we launched SoT Jobs, which is for all kinds of entry level Tech jobs, outside of the summer season. They could be part time, short term, mid-year internships, or full time graduate roles. We don’t run recruitment events for Jobs, our website functions as a jobs board for employers seeking students and recent graduates for tech roles.

Employer commitments

What do I need to provide for an intern?

Meaningful work

Their role could be joining an existing team as an entry-level team member, part of a new team of interns working on a new or existing project, or working on an individual project. There’s no restrictions, except we ask that you give them appropriate work to their skill level and career aspirations. We can discuss this with you in more detail if you haven’t hired students or grads before.

A technical mentor

Students & graduates will need a go-to person to answer technical questions. If you don’t have in-house technical capacity, then Summer of Tech might not be suitable for your organisation. A student or graduate as the sole Tech person in an organisation does not work out well! We can discuss this with you in more detail if you haven’t hired students or grads before.

Support with on-the-job learning

Summer of Tech roles are entry-level, usually a student or graduate’s first industry job. Their studies have usually left gaps in their knowledge, so we ask you to expect and support a steep learning curve in their first weeks.  We can discuss this with you in more detail if you haven’t hired students or grads before.

A work station

Summer of Tech roles are NOT suitable for remote working.  Students & grads need to sit with their mentor or team as much as possible. We ask that you provide a work station and all the necessary tools for them to do their job. Just like a normal employee.

A fair wage

Summer of Tech is a paid work experience programme. We recommend you pay your interns at least Living Wage (which is $20.20/hour from July 2017), but if your industry/business can only afford the NZ minimum wage, then you may have students willing to join you. Tech is a highly skilled industry, students have loans and other commitments, and SoT is all about welcoming and valuing newbies into the Tech industry.  For more background on why you should pay your interns, check out this blog post.

Can you help us hire graduates?

Yes! Summer of Tech Internship candidates include final year students (you can search on this criteria).  Many internships roll into full-time, permanent roles.

Graduates are eligible for Summer of Tech Jobs, as long as they graduated less than 12 months ago.

Are international students eligible?

Yes. As long as they’re studying at a NZ tertiary institution, and have a valid work visa for the summer.  You cannot search on visa status, bit if there are legal residency restrictions for your roles, please contact us to discuss.

Employer Profiles & Job listings

What do I need to include on our profile?

This is the equivalent of your “Careers” section on your website. We suggest you include information about your business, what you do, how the tech team contributes, your work environment, and anything else you think is relevant for students and graduates who probably haven’t thought about your organisation as a potential employer before.

You can include links to your organisation’s online accounts, and an optional short video. We highly recommend you make a short video aimed at students and graduates – just a DIY office tour on a mobile phone camera is fine!  This is a great way to let students and graduates get a feel for your organisation and what opportunities you’re offering to interns and graduates.

This is a sales pitch! Securing our top candidates is a competitive process, so make an awesome first impression by giving them relevant and targeted information.  You’ll find that students will be better prepared to meet you if you have given them plenty of fodder to research you.

Your organisation profile is visible to candidates and to other employers who are registered for SoT. (And when yours is live, you can check out the other employer profiles, too!)

What do I need to include in a job listing?

Just like a standard job listing, we ask for a job title and job description. You have the option to put the wage or salary information on the listing.  We also ask you to complete a skills matrix, to let students know what technical skills are required (or desirable) for each role.

Your job listings are visible to candidates and to other employers who are registered for SoT. (And when yours is live, you can check out the other employer profiles, too!)

What do student profiles include?

When you search our candidate database, you’ll see a profile photo, qualification & institution information, what year of study they are up to, and whether they’re graduating this year or not.

Profiles also include a copy of their CV, Academic Record, and a generic cover letter. Students can include links to portfolios, blogs, and other online profiles.  Students also complete a skills matrix, so you can see what technical skills, interests & experience they have. You can also see a list of which SoT events they’ve attended this year.

Student Preparation

What is a “Bootcamp”?

1-2 hour workshops or tech talks, on technical and non-technical topics.  These are designed to inform, inspire and upskill students on the stuff that the NZ tech sector wants you to know. They might be lecture style, or hands-on – it all depends on the presenters!

We sometimes have 1:1 clinics, where students can get career advice 1:1 from an employer/volunteer.

Who are Bootcamp presenters?

Usually volunteers from the SoT employer network, or the SoT Team. If you’ve got ideas for a bootcamp topic, please get in touch. We refine our topics every year, based on employer feedback about what gaps we’re seeing in graduates. We try to work alongside tertiaries, supporting what they’re teaching, but we’re able to move quickly to deploy short sharp lessons based on industry demand.

What is a “Hackfest”?

In August, we run a 1 or 2 day intensive team event as a learning and work experience event for our top Internship candidates. Hackfests for code and design students are designed to expose students to working in teams, alongside industry mentors, in as close to a commercial setting as possible.

Employers who have completed their registration are invited to the presentations at the end of Hackfest, it’s a great way to showcase our top candidates.

What kinds of roles can students do?

Any entry-level role is suitable for a student or graduate. Our most common role is web/software development, but we also get a lot of digital design, DevOps, Security, Business Analysis, DBA, UX/UI, IT Project Management, GIS, Computer Graphics/Animation… and more!

We can discuss this with you in more detail if you haven’t hired students or grads before.

Recruitment

How do I search candidates?

You can search all candidate profiles on our website, the most common search is by skill.  You can filter by a range of factors, but if you have specific requirements, let us know. When you find candidates that seem like a fit, you can “save” their profiles and track them directly from our website.

Most employers wait until Meet & Greet to shortlist their preferred candidates, but you can do this at any time. When you shortlist a candidate, they can see that you’re interested in them.

How do I respond to an overwhelming number of applications?

SoT’s “marketplace” system means students can find your roles and “apply”.  There is no obligation to respond to all applications, our system sorts that out for you.  Approaches to pro-active searching vs re-active responding varies by employer. We can discuss this with you in more detail if you haven’t hired through Summer of Tech before.

We do encourage you to provide feedback to unsuccessful candidates after an interview, as it is hugely useful for them to know where they can improve. But again, there is no expectation that you do this.

Can I communicate with candidates?

Yes! For SoT Internships, we encourage you to communicate with candidates after Meet & Greet, but you’ll have access to their contact information on their profiles.  Candidates do not have access to your contact information, you need to contact them if you want to arrange a job interview or technical test.

For SoT Jobs, you’ll need to manage the entire recruitment process, we don’t have set dates/events. Candidates do not have access to your contact information, you need to contact them if you want to arrange a job interview or technical test.

What if my preferred candidate disappears from the website?

We do our best to keep candidates in the programme, but if their plans change and are no longer available for roles, they will disappear.  We encourage you to communicate with your preferred candidates! For Jobs, this is ASAP when you find a likely candidate. For Internships, this happens during recruitment season in September (between Meet & Greet and Offers Day).

Can we set a technical test or challenge?

Yes, but please don’t make it too long or complicated. Students are extremely busy with course work and other commitments, so we recommend that if you do have a challenge, that it’s something they can complete in less than 2 hours.

SoT Internships

When are SoT Internship interviews?

You can contact your preferred candidates any time for an interview, but our official Internship recruitment season starts at Meet & Greet.  We have SoT-hosted “Speed Interviews” the week after Meet & Greet, which are optional, but HIGHLY recommended as an efficient way for everyone to manage the time pressures of recruitment.

Most employers do follow up interviews after Speed Interviews.  You may have online or offline code or personality tests, they may set a design challenge or invite you for a site visit. It’s totally up to you, just like a normal recruitment process: do whatever you need to do to be ready to offer the job!

How do Internship offers work?

SoT Offers Day is early October. You can pre-load offers (and backup offers) onto our website, and they are released (via email, and visible on your dashboard on the SoT website), at 10am. Students must respond to an offer within 6 hours. If they decline, then it’s a good idea to have a backup offer loaded, so that you maximise the chances of securing one of your preferred candidates.

We can discuss this with you in more detail if you haven’t hired a Summer of Tech intern before.

When do internships start & finish?

Usually mid November to mid February, but the exact dates & hours are to be agreed between the employer and the employee.  Some students finish exams earlier than mid November, some tertiary courses don’t finish until mid December.  If you have particular requirements for work over summer, please talk to your candidate about availability during the final stages of the interview process.

We ask students to be available full time, Monday-Friday, for 400 hours between November and March.

Our office shuts down for awhile during summer, can we still participate?

Yes. Most students will be grateful for a break! We ask that you have work (and a mentor) for 400 hours between November and March, but the details are up to you.

Jobs

When do jobs start & finish?

SoT Jobs are flexible, you can post details in your job online, and the details can be agreed between you and your successful candidate.

How do SoT Jobs interviews & offers work?

SoT Jobs employers manage their own recruitment process, and you can track candidates via our website. We don’t have recruitment events for SoT Jobs.

All offers are finalised on the SoT website.

I’ve got more questions…

The best way for registered employers to contact us is via Direct Message when they’re logged into the website. Otherwise, contact us here.

Do you still have more questions?