Economics student internship – summer 22/23 | Arrowtown

Do you want to spend a summer in Arrowtown working on applied economic problems in the South Island’s only private economic consultancy? Do you have exceptional problem solving and writing skills?

About us

Benje Patterson | People & Places is an economic research consultancy based in Arrowtown. We are passionate about New Zealand’s regions. Our work is varied – but predominantly focusses on pragmatically using economic theory to solve problems in a regional environment. We have an extensive track record of studying how industry investments and macroeconomic trends can influence economic growth, diversity, and wellbeing within communities, districts, and regions. Our client base spans central and local government, development agencies, and the private sector across the country. We are an approved All-of-Government provider and research partner of Economic Development New Zealand.

About the role

We are looking for an economics student for a five-to-eight-week summer internship. The internship will ideally start by early November, but of course we will fit around your exam schedule. There may also be opportunities for part-time work to continue during the following academic year. The internship will initially be based in Arrowtown, but remote working opportunities may be available. Arrowtown has been voted New Zealand’s most beautiful small town and is nestled next to the adventure capital of Queenstown.

The position will be broad and varied. At its core you will be pragmatically taking economic theory, stitching together models from the jigsaw puzzle of datasets you can get your hands on, and then clearly communicating that information back to a non-technical audience. This is applied economics, so you must also have a strong awareness of the world around you and how that affects the thinking and behaviours of households and businesses. Your work will feed into client reports and presentations, as well as commentary that appears in the media.

About you

You will be a highly capable student, with an exceptional attention to detail and an eagerness to learn and develop your economic toolkit in an applied regional environment. You will have a minimum of two years of study under your belt and be interested in becoming a professional economist.

The economics we do requires honed problem solving and communication skills. Projects are varied, but generally involve taking a problem statement, sourcing raw data, and creating a model to analyse a uniquely regional problem. You will need to be just as comfortable working with numbers in a spreadsheet, as you are with creating words and visualisations to explain what they mean. Our blog contains some recent examples of our work that is publicly available.

You will be well-mentored and supported in the role, but you must also be able to work independently and be confident to proactively raise your hand when questions emerge. As a commercial business, this internship won’t only introduce you to applied economics, there will be opportunities to be involved in business development so an interest in small business marketing would also be valued.

To apply

To apply, please email a CV, cover letter, and a copy of your academic transcript to Benje Patterson ( by 26 August 2022. Your cover letter should be no more than one page and must tell us why you want the role and how you think you can add value to our business. Your email should be entitled “Summer internship application – YOUR NAME”).

Alongside your CV, cover letter, and transcript, we would also like to get a feel for your problem solving and writing skills. To this end, please also provide an example of a recent economics essay, project, or presentation that you are most proud of. Accompanying this sample of your work should be a statement of no more than 200 to 300 words that identifies what the problem was you were trying to solve, how you devised a method or logic for solving it, and who you think the findings are relevant for (and why).

A PDF summary of this job ad can be downloaded here.