In July this year, we welcomed Brooke Anderson to our Wellington office to participate in the Buddle Findlay and Halberg career experience programme.
The Buddle Findlay and Halberg career experience programme was first developed in 2018 with the Halberg Foundation, after Buddle Findlay found out that the Halberg youth council members, mostly university students, find it really difficult to get work experience during the holidays. The main objective is to assist students from the Halberg Youth Council, who all have physical disabilities, to gain work experience.
Brooke was our fourth Halberg youth council member to benefit from the programme, and joined our Wellington office from 5-7 July. We spoke to Brooke before and after her placement to gain insight into her experience and find out about the benefits and challenges of the programme.
Tell us a bit about what you are studying and your long term career goals?
At the moment I am finishing year 13 with a mix of subjects. My school is adapting level three PE for me which I love and wish I had asked for the adaptation sooner. I am taking accounting and economics, physics and maths with calculus. I’m looking at doing a bachelor of commerce next year and looking further into the future, my interests at this stage are working with people, training and advocacy.
Tell us a bit about what you like to get up to outside of work?
I really enjoy spending time with friends and family.
I am a nationally classified para swimmer and am currently training in the pool and a bit at the gym towards the swimming New Zealand national short course championships and the tri series swim meet against Australian and Pacific Island teams where I have been selected to represent New Zealand.
I am one of ten on the nationwide Halberg youth council and I am also on the board of IAM (inclusive activity murihiku).
I’m a part of the NZ youth voice group for the curriculum refresh run by the Office of the Children’s Commissioner and Ministry of Education as a māori and disability representative. This role lets me actively advocate for a curriculum that reflects the needs and experiences of diverse learners.
Are there any major gaps in your skill set that you are looking for help with? For example, understanding budgets or communication with others?
I guess I don’t know what my gaps are, I know I don’t mind speaking in front of others but I probably could get help with some written forms of communication.
What are you most looking forward to ahead of your work placement?
Understanding the different components of a major company like Buddle Findlay and the opportunities within an organisation like yours.
What do you think will be the biggest challenge?
Nervousness around a new experience and environment.
What is the main thing you are hoping to gain from your placement?
To gain an understanding of what is involved with some of the areas within Buddle Findlay and the skills I have now and what skills and knowledge I would need as I look towards tertiary study and corporate employment.
What are you most proud of, following your work placement?
That on the third day I was able to give some ideas and opinions when asked on a certain topic that may be of benefit to Buddle Findlay.
Did you enjoy working in an office? Was it in line with what you expected?
I loved my experience, it definitely exceeded my expectations.
How do you think this work placement has benefitted you and your career?
For me personally it was wonderful to see and meet the diversity of people that work at Buddle Findlay Wellington, it has opened my eyes to the fact that my disability does not limit me if I want to look at working for a corporate company. The three days I spent have definitely given me a glimpse into the world of people and culture. I know what I've learnt is only the tip of the iceberg, but now when I look at what papers I may take at university I can see how they fit into a career,
Has the work placement made anything clearer for you? Do you still have the same goal?
Yes, it has given me a more in depth and greater understanding of how workplaces operate. My goal is still to attend university and work towards a commerce degree that involves working with people.
What is the one thing you would improve about your work placement?
That it was for a full week and I was given a few more tasks.