Student Stories: Jazmine Ho

Jazmine shares her experience with CDES and how perseverance landed her dream job at Auckland Council.

"When I heard about an amazing job advertised in environmental management at Auckland Council, I was very excited and a little nervous! I really wanted to work in this area and had already made contact with a senior employee at Council on LinkedIn. Talking with her made me become even more passionate and driven to work in this area. After multiple changes to my CV and perfecting my cover letter, I gave the application my best shot. A few months later, I was invited in for a formal interview. I got in touch with Pepe at Career Development and Employability Services (CDES) for some specific help to prepare and I felt like I could give it a good go! 

"It was my first proper interview which was quite daunting, but I did my research to truly understand the company and current trends in the industry, and I nailed the interview! When Council called me back, they offered me the job. It’s a graduate role which is responsible for achieving targets alongside The National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management and onsite wastewater treatment. All of my hard work in building my personal brand had paid off. 

"This is an incredible opportunity to use my passion and strengths and hopefully make an impact! But it wasn't an easy ride to nail this dream job. I moved to New Zealand from Hong Kong by myself around 5 years ago after high school. I knew I wanted to study science and nutrition when I left school, but during my studies I became really interested in the environment and changed my study direction to enable me to work with different stakeholders and deepen my understanding of how to protect our environment. I recently completed a Bachelor of Science degree, majoring in Geography and Environmental Science at the University of Auckland.

"During my study years I had applied for jobs and kept failing to proceed to the next stage of the recruitment process, and it made me wonder what experience was I lacking to land the jobs that I wanted? I had my eyes set on getting my dream job for a long time, so I started seeking help from the CDES team to get help with writing a professional CV and the job application process. I attended career expos and workshops and found them really helpful. I went back to the CDES team and with a lot of practice and support I learnt how to customise my CV to specify the skills and experience for different potential employers. I connected with Pepe, a Career Development Consultant, who was supportive and
encouraging. She was able put herself in my shoes and recognise my strengths and weaknesses. Pepe spent months helping me look for opportunities and giving me professional advice for gearing up in networking and interviews. From this support and hours of interviewing practise I became so much more confident in my skills, not to mention increasing my perseverance!

Pepe spent months helping me look for opportunities and giving me professional advice for gearing up in networking and interviews

"I also signed up for the New Zealand Workplace Insights Programme which helped me grow my professional social networks and get a better understanding of New Zealand working culture with the support of Alumni.

"It took a lot of work and determination, but I couldn't be happier. And anyone can get there if they want it!

For students wanting to nail their dream job here’s my top thoughts on getting there:

  1. Explore your options - talk to as many people as you can to find out what industry you would like to work in
  2. Put yourself out there - show your genuine interests and passions and do not be afraid to reach out (such as going to networking events, using LinkedIn)
  3. Step out of your comfort zone - take on different opportunities such as volunteering, internships, being part of an association (these allow you to gain different skills and experience for different jobs) 
  4. Do what you love and turn that into your career
  5. Network, network, network - finding common ground with working professionals (prepare yourself to enter the industry)
  6. Ask for help - mentorships (look in different social clubs) and people who are working in the position that you are interested in