Journalist and news reader

Taking on an internship during her Bachelor of Arts landed Sela Jane Aholelei a full-time job as a journalist.

Sela Jane Aholelei

Key facts  

Career: Journalist and news reader
Programme: Bachelor of Arts
Subjects: Media, Film and Television; English

"Looking back at being an undergraduate student, I can confidently say that if you are a student in the Faculty of Arts, then you are in good hands. I was part of the First Year Experience programme, and found that the mentors really helped smooth the transition from high school to tertiary studies.

"The support from the Tuakana mentors was also a plus! The mentors not only gave tips on how to get through assignments and tests, but understood student life from a Pacific Island perspective, which was refreshing and motivating. Meeting other students from Tuakana, who are very good friends to this day, was a bonus.

"In 2008, I was a mentee in a university programme called Dream Fonotaga, and the team did a great job in promoting the University of Auckland, which helped me pick Auckland to study. I did my research and found that the Faculty of Arts is ranked top out of the universities in New Zealand.

"If it wasn't for my lecturer Margaret Henley, I wouldn't be in the position I am right now. She told me about a Social Media Internship at Pacific Media Network, and I thought, why not? Seven months later and after a load of work experience, they offered me a job.

"I started off working as the Communications Facilitator at Pacific Media Network. PMN runs the radio stations, Niu FM and Radio 531pi, as well as Pacific Radio News. I write content for the radio station websites, film and edit short videos, and manage the social media properties of the radio stations.

"I've always wanted to get into news and journalism and a vacancy opened up in Pacific Radio News for a journalist. As of January 2014, I am a full-time journalist and news reader for the news service running on Niu FM and Radio 531pi. I love that every day is different, and that I get to meet public figures and people from all walks of life, sharing their stories to the world.

"My Media and English majors have helped me immensely with the skills I need to get my main jobs done to a high standard: strong communication skills, the discipline of managing deadlines, and being organised and efficient.

"I would tell prospective students: be brave! University is a big step to take, but it's also one of the best experiences you can go through. Be brave in class and put yourself forward for class rep. Be brave and join a club. Be brave and make a new friend in your tutorial. Be brave and approach your lecturer for help. Be brave, because these moments of bravery, big or small, will make a difference to your life after university."

As of 2021, Sela Jane is now the host of Dateline Pacific, RNZ's Pacific's current affairs flagship programme.