A taste of the big stars
In less than a week Rebekah Smith will be rubbing shoulders with some of the biggest names in the music biz.
The 21-year-old is flying to Los Angeles on Friday where she is taking up an eight-week audio engineering internship at the famous Paramount Recording Studios.
Miss Smith is one of nine graduates heading to the United States for the inaugural AUT InterNZ scholarship programme.
It is designed to give AUT students a taste of working life inside a global organisation.
The Hollywood-based studios have recorded stars like Justin Timberlake, The Black Eyed Peas and Flaming Lips.
"Even people that live in LA would kill to have this job, so I'm very, very lucky," Miss Smith says.
Other graduates will be heading to corporations such as Saatchi & Saatchi, Westpac Americas and Public Restaurant.
Miss Smith finished her bachelor of communications last year and is a budding lyricist.
She hopes the experience will help her make some solid industry connections.
"I also want to pick up skills in music recording that I can bring back home," she says.
"I think the New Zealand music industry has grown so much in the past few years and it's just going to continue to grow. It's a really exciting time for music."
However, she is well aware that she will be starting on the bottom rung.
"I won't be sitting at the big desk recording people," she says.
"I'll probably be setting up recording equipment and making people coffee."
The InterNZ programme is the first of its kind for a New Zealand university.
AUT vice-chancellor Derek McCormack says the programme is kicking off in the United States, but the university hopes to extend it to other parts of the world.
"We saw the need to create more opportunities for New Zealand young achievers to tune and expand their capability through the experience of working and living in global markets with different business cultures," he says.
The programme covers return air travel and transfers to the destination city, visa administration costs, travel and health insurance.
It also covers a living and accommodation allowance.
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