Atarau P (3/3)

I graduated with my Bachelor of Arts – Majoring in sociology.
Just before I graduated, my cousin got me into a 6 week contract with Auckland Council working on the Maori and Pasifika Trades Training Initiative. I went from packing boxes in factories to being able to use my brain. In my first meeting, I walked in and everyone there was white. It was big for me – I was brown, they were all white and I felt so intimidated. I felt so different and wondered what I was doing there. I didn’t feel like I belonged. My cousin asked me when I came out, how it was and I told her I hated it. I didn’t understand how they were trying to make policy for Maori and Pasifika when they didn’t understand them. She looked at me and said “That’s why they want you there.”

Then I realized I could actually help. The boss offered me a cadetship which I took and 3.5 years later I’m still there. Who finds their dream job straight out of uni? I grew up with parents on benefits and siblings in factory jobs but I always knew I didn’t want that. I guess that’s because of my dad always giving me books and inspiring me to learn. And now I am in a position where I can help my people!

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