Student Stories: Ayiya Bikimi Bitrus

Ayiya shares his journey that lead him to his first job in NZ, and how CDES helped him along the way.

"I’m originally from Nigeria, West Africa, and have just completed my PhD thesis in Chemistry at the University of Auckland.

"I chose to pursue a PhD because of my love and enthusiasm for learning and teaching, especially in the science field. That was always my plan – to go into teaching – as I wanted to help and support our young adults to challenge their thoughts when it comes to the every-changing world of science.

"I first found out about the CDES team when I came across their details on the University website. I had been applying for a number of teaching roles, with little success. I was starting to get worried about not making it past the first part of the recruitment process, so after a few rejection letters, I decided to do some research about relevant support services at University – and that’s when I found CDES.

My advice to students who are worried about the application process, and how to put their best foot forward? Talk to CDES!

"I ended up speaking to a few of their Career Development Consultants (CDCs), who really helped me to refine and redevelop my CV and cover letter. After a few sessions - and some homework! – I had a CV and cover letter I was really proud of, and I ended up receiving a call for an interview.

"As it was my first interview in NZ, I was a bit nervous – but those feelings were soon put to rest after having a coaching session over the phone with one of the CDCs the day before the interview. I took their advice on board, had the interview, and 9 minutes after I left the interview panel, my interviewers were asking me if they could contact my referees! And I got the job!

"My advice to students who are worried about the application process, and how to put their best foot forward? Talk to CDES! They were on hand to offer invaluable advice, and not just on campus – Skype, email, phone - you’re not just limited to face-to-face appointments. I really appreciated their commitment to me from day 1, and the support they provided me on my journey. I’m now in a job I love and grateful to have been able to have followed my dreams."