Just make some money and enjoy your life bro!!

Students, when they arrive at the Auckland International Airport; what do they have?

A big smile on their face, spark in their eyes, enthusiasm and determination to achieve their goals, butterflies in their stomach and a commitment to themselves that they will try to get a job as soon as possible and make sure they are not a burden to their parents back home and friends, if any, in New Zealand.

Their attitude is nothing less than that of a total innocence and sincerity.

Once here, they don’t take much time to make friends with the groups they stay with or with the guys they move around or the ones who are in their college. Soon they get introduced to this very special group of students/immigrants who are the ‘been-there-done-that’ kinds. They are a respected lot having solutions and or opinion on almost everything and are often addressed as ‘Seniors’. These so-called seniors always feel the uncontainable sense of responsibility in sharing their pearls of wisdom with these newbies.

Interesting people these seniors…right? Who are they? Let’s try and profile them to understand them better.

This Senior has been in NZ and is into his IT course (that’s how they always say, they don’t say what in IT, they will just say they are doing an IT course!! “I am doing IT”) Right… so this Senior is here for the last 7-9 months. Has couple of years of experience from his home country, has above average communication skills, has a great Facebook profile with pictures of him taken at ‘Cape Reinga’, ‘Piha Beach’ ‘Coromandel’ and ‘Queens Town’ that are half naked and are with two or three different (girl) friends. He also works with a cleaning company (since he works for cash so he puts in an easy 30-40 hours per week that also includes one-off jobs here and there on cash and IRD. He makes sure he doesn’t breach the 20hrs/week condition for IRD till he is on a student visa). He is often found on Queen Street, in his (flashy) car in the evening hours, windows down and music (mostly Punjabi) playing full-blast. He does miss his classes occasionally because he is tired after working the night shifts but he has helped 7 of his mates studying IT get into cleaning, dairy shop, liquor store, fuel station and take away joint jobs with most of them working on cash. Overall, he is a good guy who understands the pain of every newbie and wouldn’t mind going an extra mile to help them.

Here’s a sample conversation between this ‘Senior’ and our ‘Newbie’.

Senior: So… which course have you enrolled in?
Newbie: IT Level 7 (It could be any other course as well like; Business / Hospitality / Cookery / Early Childhood / Nursing or anything else but for our sample conversation here, we are talking IT)
Senior: oh sh*t, who told you to enrol in this course?
Newbie: My agent…. And he also said, there are a lot of jobs available after I do this course and then I can easily apply for my permanent residency.
Senior: Ha ha ha ha… Welcome to NZ!! But don’t worry…ok? You will learn how to survive…ok?
Newbie: Sir, I don’t have enough money left with me. Can you pls help me get an IT job? I don’t want to trouble my parents asking them more money... they have already taken a loan to sponsor my visit to NZ and the repayment of the loan will start soon….pls if you can help me?
Senior: HA HA HA HA …. IT JOB??? Hmmm… I know what you mean. Ha ha… ok listen, will you work on a farm? There’s a lot of hard work but good daily money. Is it ok?
Newbie: Umm……Yes Sir, anything will work for me. I just want to save some money and send it back to my parents.
Senior: Ya..ya… it’s ok.. don’t worry. Just make some money and enjoy your life bro.

This last line of the conversation, the senior says with a big smile on his face and with a Kiwi accent and swag. “Just make some money and enjoy your life bro.” However, while in this whole process somewhere, our Newbie has been baptised.

No, I am not against you working, I am not against you gaining some work experience if you have had none before. What concerns me is when students are looking for (any) jobs to make/save money. I am sorry but what happened to your evidence of funds. Why would you waste your 30/40 hours a week in something that is not even related to your field of study? Even if it is a genuine 20 hours a week work and is not related to your field of study, why would you waste your time with it? Why?

If you’re a student and if you haven’t got a PAID part-time work related to your study, you should only be doing these four things:

Studying
Upskilling
Networking
Volunteering

That’s it. Period.

Of course, you should have a Facebook page, you should visit different beautiful locations, take pictures (preferably with clothes on and no alcohol). Enjoy your life guys, but don’t lose your focus.

There have been numerous examples where the students got their first full-time roles as soon as they finished their studies. Ryan Concepcion had his complete focus on studying and upskilling while he was on a student visa. Negligible networking and no volunteering what-so-ever. His first employer Foodstuffs raised a (verbal) offer for him and waited for him to get his job search visa stamped before he was brought onboard. Atul Kumar studied well and was good with networking and volunteering. Followed his passion, was a Radio Jockey has been acting in movies and saw himself in a full-time role with Orcon as soon as he finished his studies. Shelly Dean, got into a role well suited to her field of study while she was a student with a company called Telelink and secured her further visas from the same company. Exceptional communication skills, limited networking, no volunteering no waste of time. Linda Yu, heavily focussed on networking, went out of the way to meet people, travelled to various cities in NZ on a very short notice. She was volunteering almost all her duration of student visa, has secured a role with Fishpond.

I can give you thousands and thousands of examples of guys who have had exceptional career track records and have seen themselves growing constantly. Similarly, you can find many examples of people around you who got into their full-time roles as soon as they finished their studies and I am sure you would’ve seen the strugglers/time-wasters /‘seniors’ who are just not able to get their first foot in the employment door.

Remember, if you don’t have a paid part-time role that’s directly related to the field of your study you should only be focussing on studying, upskilling, networking and volunteering. Don’t fall into the tempting trap shown by your ‘seniors’. Be smart, you’re not here to ‘just make some money and enjoy your life bro’.

You’re here for your career…aren't you?

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