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Aashish Bhattarai, intern

Case study: Aashish Bhattarai and John Thyne, NT Airports

John Thyne, Finance Manager, NT Airports

Our business is a group of five companies which manage the Darwin International, Alice Springs and Tennant Creek airports. Head office is located at the Darwin International Airport with the majority of administrative functions being run from there. Our group has approximately 90 staff with 15 in Alice Springs, one in Tennant Creek and the balance in Darwin.

With land available to develop at the Darwin International Airport we not only manage the aeronautical operations but also carry out a property management and development function. Some of the more high profile developments include Bunnings, Caltex Service Station, Kingpin, childcare centres and hotels with more to come.

In the last five years we have engaged five students. They are exposed to different aspects of the business, particularly the finance side.

The learning for all of us is two way: we have a lot of experience and it is good to be able to pass on that knowledge to the students but we also learn from the students as they come from very diverse backgrounds. We provide a level of experience to someone that hopefully will come to work for us or to another organisation where they can add value from the start.

Communication is the key to a successful program. You need to think about the way you explain things. Taking your time and being particular in your instructions will encourage students to feel comfortable enough to speak up when they don't understand.

Student: Aashish Bhattarai

Aashish completed a Master of Accounting at the Charles Darwin University. Participating in my internship through Northern Territory Airports has allowed me to gain a level of experience that I would not have normally been able to access.

I have been mentored by the finance manager who has challenged and encouraged me to take on tasks that are very advanced. I have been fortunate to be able to shadow a senior member of staff and gain an insight into the business and its operations, which has been valuable and will continue to be valuable for my future career development.

Culturally it has ben a challenge to adapt to the Australian workplace but the team have been very supportive and helped me settle into a new culture that is very different from India.