Internship provides fulfilling experience
Nabilah's role co-ordinating the Wellington International Student Excellence Awards has led her to collaborate widely with others and develop valuable skills
What is your one top tip for someone coming to study in Wellington?
Involve yourself with your university’s clubs and events, volunteer within the wider community in Wellington to fill your spare time, gain valuable experiences and improve your Kiwi English!
What were your first impressions of Wellington as a city/region?
A very laidback and peaceful city.
What are the differences between your classes, tutors, lecturers and teachers here in Wellington compared to back home?
Classes in Wellington are less stressful compared to Malaysia. Back in Malaysia, I had to register for at least 5-7 subjects per semester. When I studied at Victoria University of Wellington, I only registered 3-4 subjects per trimester, allowing me to work part-time, volunteer and catch up with friends.
I found that New Zealand is more laidback – when I first came here, it felt so uncomfortable to call my lecturers only with their first name.
Have you participated in any Study in Wellington programmes?
I have participated in the Employer Connect and Work Ready in Wellington programmes. When I was first involved in the Employer Connect programme, I met an employee from Business Central who introduced me to the Skilled Newcomers programme where I received support to improve my cover letter and CV in a New Zealand format.
I also landed a fixed-term role as an Excellence Awards Volunteer and Event Assistant at WellingtonNZ through the internship and graduates opportunities within the Study in Wellington team.
Tell us about your internship role.
As an Excellence Awards Volunteer and Event Assistant, I was lucky to be given the opportunity to co-manage the sixth Wellington International Student Excellence Awards. I gained many new skills and experiences from this role and collaborated widely with other teams and organisations.
It was a very fulfilling experience to see the happy faces of winners at the awards ceremony, especially because I used to be an international student. It was an experience that I will always hold dear to my heart.
What challenges and successes did you face in your internship?
It was a fast-paced environment. I was given the time to learn but I also understood that I needed to quickly pick up tasks, bits and pieces in planning and preparing for the Wellington International Student Excellence Awards. Another challenge was COVID-19 restrictions that made things unpredictable, and we had to be flexible with any changes. These challenges made me discover skills and capabilities that I could bring to the team.
On a personal note, I am grateful for the journey that I had to go through before securing a professional role in Wellington (even though it was for a short period). It was not an easy one especially with the pandemic, but it taught me resilience and motivated me to keep going in a foreign country.
Where is your favourite place to explore (be outside in nature?)
Mainly Cuba Street and other streets in town! There are small local shops that sell unique things. Walking along the harbour and Oriental Bay with an ice cream is great too.