The last few months have been a whirlwind for Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) Pacific Scholar Tupe Crawley.
Not only did she wrap up her tertiary studies in New Zealand and graduate from Wellington’s Victoria University with a Bachelor of Arts (political science, development studies and environmental studies), but she also gained invaluable work experience, completing a Summer Internship at Pacific Cooperation Foundation (PCF).
The PCF family welcomed Tupe on-board, where she and fellow MFAT Scholar and intern Laumanu Malia Mafi were thrown into the deep-end, but proved to be an integral part of the planning, implementation and evaluation of the Grow Pacific project, in Fiji last November.
After completing her Summer Internship with PCF, Tupe returned home to Samoa in February to begin job-hunting, where she has had great success scoring a job as a Policy Analyst at Samoa’s Chamber of Commerce.
Because she knew the kind of job she wanted and was immediately drawn to the Chamber, it did not take long to find employment, Tupe says.
“Thankfully it had a position available but there were many other jobs available which gave me many good options to consider from.”
The job market in Samoa is in high demand for skilled and qualified individuals and for scholarship students like Tupe when they return home, she adds.
“Despite it being easy for me to look for work, I do hope that in the near future qualified jobs in the Government and private sector will become highly competitive as I think this will show progressive signs of Samoa’s socio-economic development.”
The Summer Internship programme began last year, and places selected MFAT Scholars into organisations/businesses throughout NZ, while providing them with relevant work experience during a 10-week period from November to February (breaking at Christmas).
It gives students a solid foundation on entering the workforce and Tupe’s time at PCF has been especially relevant regarding her new job at the Samoa Chamber of Commerce.
“Being part of PCF’s Grow Pacific project has really inspired me to continue working with local Pacific businesses and to really understand the private sector before serving the Government,” she says.
“I think this is a great space to work with and I am very excited to really make an impact.”
At PCF, Tupe has been exposed to networking opportunities and she has learnt about effective communication and relationship building with partners, clients and stakeholders.
“It has really boosted my confidence going into my new role.”
Tupe began work straight after Easter, and says she has been both nervous and excited.
Having completed an internship that was highly competed for, as well as having to sell herself at job interviews, Tupe says she feels bosses and colleagues have high expectations of her.
“I started thinking that maybe I was not qualified for the job, or that I might do something wrong or that I would not understand anything.
“However, my team are extremely nice and supportive which I’m very happy about … I’m determined to get my hands dirty and to really soak up everything I need to understand from my team and boss.”
The PCF team is delighted for Tupe and her recent employment and Chief Executive Officer Laulu Mac Leauanae says Tupe deserves the success she is experiencing.
“Tupe is diligent and hardworking, and deserves the opportunity to prove herself in a challenging position such as the one she has recently been employed in,” Mac says.
“While she only spent ten weeks working with us, Tupe became part of the team and really showed her potential during our initiatives, particularly our Grow Pacific project.”
Applications for the 2016/2017 Summer Internship open on April 4, 2016.
Visit www.pcf.org.nz for up-to-date information.