An online magazine of news and opinions from the Asia New Zealand Foundation

Career expo helping students to think outside the box, and think Asia

No matter what profession or industry students are interested in – they need to think Asia to gain an edge. 

A montage of three images showing a man writing caligraphy, young people riding bikes in China and a five people at a temple in Japan

Careers and interests may change but Asia is set to be the economic and cultural powerhouse of the 21st century. So, whether you are an avocado grower, clothing designer, bungee jump operator or social media influencer, knowledge of Asia will be a huge advantage.  

To encourage students to have Asia on their radar during the career planning process, Asia New Zealand Foundation is sponsoring ‘CareerME’ an event for Year 9-13 students to gain career advice and guidance. 

CareerME has been set up by Unboxed cofounders secondary school students Sayurie Naicker (15) and Mikayla Scott (17). It is a youth for youth organisation aimed at helping young kiwis to answer one of the more daunting dinner time conversations: ‘What do you want to do after high school?’

Naicker says the debut event “is aimed at inspiring students to tackle their future and step outside the box to begin their journey in the unpredictable world of careers”.

At the event, Asia New Zealand Foundation Leadership Network member Will Flavell will speak about his Asia experience. Other keynote speakers include Justine Munro discussing her role at Z Energy and Labour Party MP Jacinda Arden.

Students will also have an opportunity to hear from an expert panel of speakers from Barfoot and Thompson, Orion Health, APD, Borderless and AUT. Additionally, they will be able to network with individuals from a variety of businesses.

Scott says CareerME is an invitation for students to take control of their future and seize opportunity. "The experiences that our speakers have to share relate to becoming decisive and finding your passion as well as the exciting climb that is, the working world".

CareerME will be held on Monday 27 February at AUT.

What can you do to prepare for your future careers with Asia? 

1. Learn an Asian language
In general, language learning in New Zealand is declining, but our trade and interactions with Asia are increasing. Take advantage of this gap by learning an Asian language. Whether it be at school, university or in your spare time, it will give you a definite edge in the job market. Japanese speakers are the internet’s 3rd largest language group, or why not learn Bahasa so you can communicate with Indonesia, our closest Asian neighbour.

2. Study in Asia
Set yourself apart from other New Zealander’s by studying in Asia. Asia has world class universities with scholarships available for overseas students and some courses are taught in English so language is no barrier to learning. Even one semester of study in an Asian country will give you an advantage in the job market. You will have gained a different outlook from studying in Asia and gain a rich knowledge of Asian cultures and practices, as well as acquiring some language skills. 

3. Internships in Asia
Put yourself out there and do an internship in Asia. Working in Asia will be a great experience to develop cultural competencies and build your professional networks. You will gain a more global outlook.

4. Travel to Asia
Gain first-hand experience of Asia; there is no better way to find out about Asia than by going there. Immerse yourself in the different cultures, languages and customs. Asia is a great holiday destination because it is relatively cost effective, you can learn about different cultures, visit amazing sights and sample great food.

5. Learn about Asian peoples and cultures
Get Asia savvy by finding out about different cultural practices and beliefs that will be useful to you in your future career. For example what is proper etiquette at meal times? How do you hand over a business card to a Chinese person? When is it appropriate to bow to a Japanese person?

Find out more

By Asia New Zealand Foundation schools coordinator Yasheeka Bertram

20 January 2017