Summer Internship opens doors in Tonga

Semi Hausia with Auckland Council's Jacqueline Anthony at the Summer Internship Orientation Evening in 2016.

After three years based in New Zealand, Semi Hausia has returned to his homeland Tonga to embark on a career with the Ministry of Agriculture and Food, Forests and Fisheries (MAFFF).  

Semi is one of 15 NZ Scholars from the Pacific and Timor Leste selected for the 2016-2017 Summer Internship initiative, which places interns at various organisations around NZ for 10-weeks.

Internships finished in February and just weeks after his return home, with boosted confidence, skills and knowledge from both his agriculture studies and internship, Semi has secured a role as a MAFFF Quarantine Officer, monitoring the export pathways of export commodities in Tonga.

“Part of my role to assure the commodities’ traceability is in place and comply with overseas market requirements,” Semi explains.

On completing his Bachelor of Agriculture from Massey University late last year, Semi began a Summer Internship at Auckland Council, with the Environmental, Monitoring, Research and Evaluation team.

The Pacific Cooperation Foundation (PCF) facilitated Summer Internship provided Semi with many great experiences as well as improving his Curriculum Vitae, which helped him secure his new role, he says.

“The most significant lesson I have learnt is about the levels of management – the linkages and boundaries … knowing my position and my responsibilities will enable me to work both effectively and efficiently,” Semi adds.

Like anyone new to a role, Semi has encountered some teething problems but he has drawn on his Auckland Council experience to deal with these issues, he says.

“The major challenge is I am totally new to the job – however, I notified my manager and the rest of the team that I will need their help during my acclimatisation period.”

Communicating his needs and requirements clearly is something Semi has worked on during his time in NZ, along with technical knowledge about his chosen area of work – and he is putting these things into practice in his new position.

While still settling into Tongan life, Semi is delighted to be home, giving back to his community.

“I’m feeling confident in myself, and my ability in my field of work and expertise.”

Summer Internship applications for 2017-2018 open this weekend, and an announcement will be made at the inaugural Pacific Island Scholar Alumni Network Fono, in Auckland.

Visit http://pcf.org.nz/summer-internships/ for more information on PCF’s initiative.

(Main picture caption: Semi Hausia with Auckland Council’s Jacqueline Anthony at the Summer Internship Orientation Evening in 2016.)