Student Stories: Luisa Samisoni

Luisa shares her experience with CDES and how that's helped her land a summer internship with a construction company.

"I’ve been a proud South Aucklander for almost twelve years now, and am originally from Fiji. Im in my final year now, and I’m stoked to have landed a summer internship with a construction company! I found the interview process surprisingly relaxed. I think this was because my one-on-one mock interview with CDES, and their advice on the do’s and don’ts of what to expect in the actual interview helped me a lot with my confidence. Being so well prepared gave me a sense of calm when it was time for the real deal.

"When I was deciding what to study, I wanted a degree where the focus was on meaningful and positive employer-employee relationships. With an Employment Relations major, I’m learning how to foster that within an organisation. Additionally, the Sociology major delves into power inequalities and external factors that can impact on individuals within their organisation. I feel that understanding both aspects of this is very important for my future career.

"I first heard about Career Development and Employability Services (CDES) through an email about gaining employability tips from Pepe Afeaki, the Māori and Pacific Employability Consultant at CDES. Being in my final year of study, I wanted help with my CV and networking tips for future employment.

"Pepe’s email was very encouraging, and this led me to seek help from the CDES team. When I met with Pepe in person, she was so approachable and genuine; wanting the best for me, and incorporating my cultural values and beliefs. Not only has Pepe advised and encouraged me to do well, but her utmost faith in the students she mentors who have reached out to CDES is a rare and beautiful thing. This gave me the confidence to work hard and do well in my studies, and to plan for the future I envisioned when I enrolled here at the University of Auckland.

"I have attended a number of beneficial events and workshops organised by CDES, including the CV tailoring event, workshops with BNZ and Auckland Council, and a Public Sector event held at the Fale. This really helped me with my networking, and getting first-hand experience around what the future of work looks like.

"Having someone like Pepe there from the start for me, always so supportive and encouraging, is what I love about CDES.

I’ve found the CDES Māori and Pacific Programme particularly beneficial, with its focus on Pacific and Māori development. 

"The Māori and Pacific externships have been so helpful for me too, in offering a support person who provides employment advice, CV help, and even mental and physical well-being, while incorporating our cultural world views into workshops. This really brings out the best in us.​

"My advice to students, particularly those undecided about where to head with their degree or unsure how to find a job, is to reach out to CDES now! Seek help as soon as possible. Don’t leave it too late. Be brave, and make the most of being able to contact CDES, while this free resource is readily available to you. It will be well worth your time, and beneficial to your career in the long run."

Connect with CDES

CDES has helped thousands of students just like you. CDES offers a wide range of services and workshops to help you on your employability quest. Login to MyCDES to book your place, and gain top tips for putting your best foot forward.