Yasmina Latu

Summer Intern
Money and Cash
Yasmina Latu

Team: Product Quality and Assurance

University: University of Auckland

Studying: Law & Commerce (Economics, Finance)

Why I chose to apply for a RBNZ summer internship

I was lucky enough to get a Summer Internship at RBNZ through the TupuToa Internship Programme, which aims to create pathways for Maori and Pasifika University students. Sitting in Economics lectures in University you learn a bit about the Bank and so being able to work here over the Summer is pretty surreal!.

What work I’ve been doing as a summer intern

This summer I have been working with the Bank’s Currency Scientist on the Currency Quality Survey and essentially we were trying to get an idea of the quality of cash in New Zealand. This involved processing a sample of banknotes through a special machine, and analysing the data outputs to produce various graphs and charts using Excel. From here I wrote a report on the survey results and even got to make some suggestions.

Being in the Money & Cash department, I got the opportunity to hear about other teams work and how they ensured New Zealanders had access to cash during the pandemic and lockdowns. I even got to attend a meeting about collectable coins!

What else I’ve been involved in at the Bank

In a pretty wild first week, on my third day at the Bank I went axe-throwing with my Department for their Christmas function. I also got to go along with my buddy to watch lunch-time football and touch games and plant some Vegetables in the Bank’s Veggie garden as a part of the Gardening club.

This summer has been memorable because

That feeling of being able to walk through the doors every morning of a place you have learnt about in class and seen in the news definitely took some time to get used to. I really enjoyed learning from my team and department, and their role in ensuring that New Zealanders have access to good quality banknotes and coins. In this, I gained a unique insight into one of the Bank’s functions which you rarely hear about in Economics and Finance classes. The culture at the Bank is incredibly social, and you get to know some very bright and supportive people, and from this Summer I made 12 new friends!

Why I would recommend the internship to others

Interning at the Reserve Bank is an incredible opportunity to learn from people at the top ends of their fields, and in some instances people who are the only ones in the country who have their specific job titles. You also get a chance to enhance your understanding of concepts and topics which you learnt in University, while also learning entirely new skills and subjects.