Success Stories 23 Jun 2017
Summer intern Olisana Mariner (pictured) says the art of communication is what has resonated with her most from her time at Pacific Cooperation Foundation (PCF). Olisana was part of the 2016-17 Summer Internship cohort, and spent 10 weeks interning at PCF.
The 21-year-old has returned home to Samoa after completing a Bachelor of Commerce at Wellington’s Victoria University, while on a New Zealand Scholarship.
Having recently gained employment as an Assistant Office Manager at Island Hopper Vacations Samoa, an inbound tour operator which will focus on servicing the needs of the Northern Markets, Olisana says being part of PCF’s Summer Internship initiative will serve her well in her new role.
“I am really excited to be part of the operations team which works closely with properties, tours and transfers to give travelers an authentic Samoan experience,” Olisana says.
Her main duties include working closely with the General Manager to help setup the business; implementing key tasks for overseas representatives; following-up with local suppliers and properties; and undergoing systems training to learn how to manage reservations and bookings from multiple wholesalers in different countries, she explains.
During her Summer Internship at PCF, Olisana gained many skills which have assisting her in gaining her new role, such as time management; administrative duties; interpersonal skills; multimedia training; and team work.
Site visits are a must at her new company, to ensure factual information is disseminated to company representatives who sell and promote Samoa overseas, Olisana says.
“I am reminded of the site visits I did in Auckland and Christchurch with PCF over the summer in order to find the right venues for the FONO conference.
“In addition to that, I learnt about project management, networking, and how to develop digital content for a conference app and company website – there are invaluable skills I have learnt while working at PCF, which have been incredibly helpful already.”
Most helpful, however, is the art of good communication, Olisana adds.
“I am learning in the tourism industry, a fast response rate and following up with key stakeholders is one of the most crucial things to success.
“This is especially tricky when dealing with the Northern Markets because they start work when we’re getting ready to go to sleep.”
Her personal challenge will be to respond to any queries within 24 hours so the company’s overseas reps can give travelers the information they need and close the sale, she says.
“In this, I am grateful for the summer internship because it has encouraged me to be proactive.”
The new role is a step in the right direction for the ambitious career-driven woman, who knew early on, she wanted to get into a challenging, fast-paced and dynamic industry.
“Tourism is one of those industries and working with an inbound tour operator focused on the Northern Markets keeps me on my toes.
“I’m also thrilled at the prospective travel opportunities in my new role because I have always dreamt of seeing the world and learning from people in cultures other than my own.”
Visit https://pcf.org.nz/initiatives for more information on PCF’s Summer Internship initiatives, which places selected NZ Scholars into NZ and regional organisations to give them practical work experience.