News Item

​Taking the next step after university

News 24 May 2017

Gaining a degree is one thing, but if you are unsure of what you want to do with it, trying to find the right job can be challenging and distressing. Charity Malaga, a New Zealand Scholar who took part in Pacific Cooperation Foundation’s (PCF) 2015-17 Summer Internship initiative, felt this pressure when she finished her Bachelor of Arts at Victoria University.

When Charity completed her studies at the end of 2016, and then the 10-week Summer Internship at Nelson City Council, she returned home to Samoa, her home country she is bonded to for the next two years.

“I honestly didn’t know what I wanted to do with the degree that I now had,” Charity explains.

“But I promised myself I would go for a job I would enjoy and that would keep me on my toes and I was adamant to keep learning as much as I could.”

It was not long before Charity found employment at Samoa’s Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Labour, working as an Intellectual Property Officer, and she is currently in Beijing for training.

“I am lucky the work I am doing does keep me on my toes, we are constantly moving forward as a team, and I am learning so much along the way,” she adds.

“It can become stressful at times but fortunately I have so much support around me which has made being a newbie easier.”

Charity was one of the 16 Summer Interns, who were placed at various NZ (and one regional) organisations, as part of the annual initiative.

The university graduate says the internship has helped her broaden her perspectives, and boosted her ability to interact with a diverse group of people.

“It has given me the skills I need to become a better worker, colleague and mentor to younger people, who are also eager to take up any extra-curricular work they can get their hands on,” Charity says.

The many skills Charity gained when working at Nelson City Council have helped her come to grips with her new role.

“From administrative skills, such as taking the minutes of a meeting, to filing and recording information has been a tremendous asset.

“My communicative skills have also been improved through my interaction with my former colleagues - knowing that your thoughts and opinions are well respected and safe within the workspace is something I highly valued during my time there.”

Charity has a strong network of people she can rely on when in need of some professional assistance after connecting with the helpful staff at the Council, she adds.

“The opportunity to work in Nelson has been a blessing and I am so thankful to PCF and the Council for the chance to prove myself.”

It has taken a few months to settle back into the Samoa way of life, but Charity is embracing it and her new role with enthusiasm, setting herself a goal to always remain positive even if things get tough.

“There is no one else who can make things happen except for you.”

Visit PCF for more information on PCF’s Summer Internship.

(Main picture caption: Charity Malaga visits the Great Wall of China during her training for the Samoa Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Labour.)