Pearl Handa

Meet Suncorp New Zealand at the 2020 CDES Internship & Graduate Expo!

Pearl Handa

  • Graduate - Advice and Professional at Suncrop NZ
  • Masters in Information Systems

Did your career plans change as you studied?

My career path 100% changed as I went through my years at university. I started my university journey by applying for a Bachelor of Health Science at the University of Otago in hopes of going down the oral health and dentistry pathway. However, six months in I realised that it was not the pathway for me and decided to take the plunge to move back to Auckland and pursue a career in Commerce. Looking back, it was definitely the right choice for my skillset and personality. Being able to do a double major in commerce was a great opportunity, as it allowed me to gain a broader level of knowledge across the two areas and provided me with the opportunity to develop a more comprehensive skillset.

After completing a Masters in Information Systems, I secured a role in the Suncorp NZ Graduate Program and have landed up in within the insurance sector, which is not an area I had ever desired to work within. My journey has shown me that it is truly about taking opportunities and giving new experiences a chance. One thing I have realised is no matter how much you think you will enjoy or not enjoy a particular career field; you will never really know until you give it a chance. It has been a truly humbling experience working within the insurance sector, and Suncorp NZ has changed my perspective on what the workforce looks like for new graduates in the workforce. Suncorp NZ truly support the development of their graduates. We are trusted with real responsibilities and are provided with numerous opportunities to achieve our full potential.

Where do you see yourself in 5-10 years’ time?

I have enjoyed my first rotation within the Customer experience space; however, I have three more rotations to go through within my Insurance Graduate Role - Life Distributions, Claims and Insurance Solutions. I have always said, my end goal is to be a marketing manager, and I hope in 10 years, I will be able to be one successfully. However, the biggest thing I have learnt from my first six months here is to keep an open mind. There may just be an area that genuinely resonates with me and takes me by surprise!

How valuable was your internship OR work experience for you as a student? How did this help you fine-tune where you wanted to head?

Work Experience before starting the Suncorp Graduate Program was immensely valuable. During my time at university, I took part in a 6-month marketing internship that turned out to stretch into a 12-month role. It provided me with insight on what it would be like working in the marketing industry and gave me a broader understanding of how the knowledge I gained through my university papers can be applied in a real cooperate environment. My internship also provided me with the platform to further develop my soft skills such as my communication skills through interacting with industry experts, my teamwork and time management skills were also enhanced through various tasks set for me, and I was also able to apply my problem-solving skills in a competitive environment. These are all skills highly valued in the cooperate environment, and I believe my internship experience provided me with the opportunity to develop and enhance these skills further.