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Hosting a Skilled Migrant Intern

11 September 2020

For a period of six weeks, the team at Alpha had the opportunity of hosting an intern via Victoria University’s Skilled Migrant Programme (SMP). With the help of The Johnson Group, who are responsible for the placement of interns, we were successfully matched with Sherine Neinaa, who had joined us in the capacity of Team Administrator.

Sherine is originally from Egypt and brings with her background in education and administration.

 SMP Intern

From L to R: Emma Graham – Senior Consultant,   Jane Reddiex – GM, Kate Langston – Consultant, Sherine Neinaa – SMP Intern, Bernice Jackson – Recruitment Specialist & SMP Mentor

About the Skilled Migrant Programme

When we first learned about the programme and that an intern needed a host employer - we’ll be honest—we thought it was a big job. Everyone was busy enough as it was and having Covid-19 threatening us at every corner didn’t make it any easier. But we were told that a dedicated workplace consultant would be assigned to us by the University, and it helped us to know that we would be getting support from them.

We put our heads together to see whether we could provide a beneficial experience for a skilled intern. We took a step back and had a look at what projects needed doing and where we might have some backlogs. Unsurprisingly, we had a few. So, without delay, a job description was quickly drafted, and the role of Team Administrator was created.

The Perfect Fit

As everyone had hoped, Sherine slotted in without missing a beat. According to our Recruitment Specialist, Bernice Jackson, who was also Sherine’s mentor, “Sherine brought an amazing attitude. She always wanted to learn and make sure everything was done to a high standard. She was an amazing addition to our team, while taking some stress off us with our workload and some backlog. She also fit into our team spectacularly.”

General Manager, Jane Reddiex, also commented on how Sherine’s presence had positively affected the team. “Having Sherine in the team helped hugely with the whole aspect of diversity and inclusion. We are a small team and having her with us really made us think about cultural differences and how to build them into our team successfully. We all feel richer for the experience.”

It wasn’t only the team at Alpha that enjoyed the experience. When asked of the benefits of partaking in an internship, Sherine stated, “It was an amazing experience; it was a good opportunity to put my skills into practice, enrich my working experience and develop my work performance. It helped me to apply new understandings to a real work context. I believe that even though my internship was only for six weeks, being a team administrator at Alpha helped me to gain extensive experience in the admin field. Moreover, I was exposed to various systems and different working styles. As a migrant coming from a different background, being a part of Alpha team helped me to develop my communication skills to be more suitable and acceptable to the New Zealand context. And lastly, I was delighted to meet amazing people and expand my connections.”

A Successful Experience

Suffice it to say, the internship was a success for all those involved. It seems that the team may well be thinking of hosting another intern in the next intake. “We would love to host another intern in the future! We were a little on the fence to begin with, as we weren’t sure how much time and resource we would have to invest to get someone up to speed. We were definitely impressed with how well Sherine picked things up and got right into it,” said Bernice Jackson.

We asked Sherine if she wanted to share anything further about her experience, and she did.  

“I was fortunate to have my internship at Alpha Recruitment. I want to thank Bernice for her great support, patience and her super friendly approach. I appreciate her taking the time to answer all my questions, expose me to everything and always checking that I am doing fine. She made my internship at Alpha a rewarding time, and I can’t thank her enough.

Moreover, I want to thank Kate [Langston] for her encouragement, positive attitude and her motivational feedback. I enjoyed working with her and I will miss her amazing sense of humour. I also want to tell Emma [Graham] that she leads by an example and I learnt a lot by watching her working.

Finally, I want to thank my manager Jane Reddiex for giving me this amazing opportunity and for taking the time to help me settle in and feel welcome. I learnt a lot during my 6 weeks with Alpha and I gained valuable work experience. It was my pleasure being part of the team.”

And from the team to Sherine, they’ve said, “Sherine, you were such a HUGE help to our team, and we loved having you with us. If we did need someone permanently, we would have taken you on in a heartbeat. You have all the skills and now also experience. Getting into the job market can be tough, but once you are in, you will be more than capable of doing any admin job!

We wish you all the best of luck and can’t wait to hear where your next opportunity is.”

What Next?

It looks like the team are now SMP converts and will be looking forward to supporting the programme for many years to come. If you would like to know more about how you can host an intern, it’s easy – get in touch with Georgie Carter on 027-325-2462 or email georgie@thejohnsongroup.co.nz.

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