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My Summer of Biz: Bernadine Gittings

By Ella Halstead
January 9 2019

Posted in Blog

Written by Bernadine Gittings, HR Administrator at the Ministry of Education

2018 disappeared before my very eyes. At the start of 2018, if you told me I would be working at Ministry of Education at the end of the year, I would not believe it. But here I am, working full time and loving it!

After many friends had been successful in the 2017 SOB programme, I made it my goal to be involved and to get a role in 2018. Attending many bootcamps and making friends filled my Trimester One. I study Marketing and HR so I went to almost every one!

Bizfest 2018 came around. This was by far one of the highlights of my year. About 20 or so students spent the day working on problems and listening to guest speakers in a work environment, and pitching our idea at the end of the day. I learnt practical skills and knowledge which helped with university work, and made me think outside the box. There was also lots of the SOB team on site who were so friendly to chat to and I was able to pick their brains on the current work atmosphere. I would 100% recommend this event to any future students.

My experience at Meet and Greet was crazy! I was applying for HR and marketing roles – with a preference for HR jobs. With limited HR jobs on offer this year, I ranked my marketing jobs on a list of preferred to least preferred so I knew which organisations I would prefer to talk too based on their roles on offer. I did not go in with a speech prepared. Beforehand I made some notes about interesting parts of their organisation and the roles and talked about myself without a script. Meet and greet flew by, I talked to so many people and was absolutely exhausted by the end. I knew I messed some up, but the ones at the top of my list I thought I did well in.

Speed interviews were once again very stressful, however I had really big gaps between mine so I could relax in the breaks. I have a couple formal interviews as well, but did not get into the top group of candidates. This did make me quite sad for a bit, as I put in so much effort all year to end up with nothing.

Then next thing I know, I get a call from a manager who got passed CV’s from the SOB programme and was looking for fixed term employees in an HR team. Lucky enough, I got one! This worked out better for me as the term is for six months instead of three and started as soon as classes were over.

I have now been in my role for two months and love coming to work every day. The team I am apart of is super helpful and friendly with short and long term goals in place to make my experience and the teams experience the best it can be. My team currently has four people from SOB which makes all our experiences similar and brings about a great environment. I learn every day, and puts everything I learnt at university to the test. Makes me feel happy that what we learn at university is actually relevant in the real world.

For anyone looking at partaking in 2019, I would definitely say do it! If you put in the effort, you will be rewarded. Without SOB, I would have no idea how to get into the job and industry I am in today. It is a year of hard work, but if you are dedicated and involved, you are putting yourself in the best position possible to gain an internship to start your career!

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