Samoan intern making an impact in the workplace

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WELL DONE: Sanita Betham (right) with her nana Lydia Coe (far left) and mother Sonya Betham.

WELL DONE: Sanita Betham (right) with her nana Lydia Coe (far left) and mother Sonya Betham.

A young Samoan-Chinese female working as a technology consultant is not too common in New Zealand, but Sanita Betham and Deloitte are working together to change this situation. 

In 2016, Sanita was presented with the Deloitte - Business and Entrepreneurship Award at the Prime Minister’s Pacific Youth Awards (P.M.P.Y.A.), which recognised her entrepreneurial spirit through involvement in a business or social enterprise activity, while studying towards a degree. 

The 19-year-old is currently interning at Deloitte, an international network of firms that provide high quality professional services focusing on audit, tax, technology and systems, strategy, performance improvements, risk management, corporate finance, business recovery, forensics and accounting services.

“Through winning the P.M.P.Y.A., I’ve been able to experience working at Deloitte for a few months and it’s been great so far,” Sanita says. 

“Besides the fact it’s a paid internship, you also get to network with your fellow interns and the wider Deloitte New Zealand office.” 

Starting at intern level, Sanita has never run out of new things to learn and she has gained many new skills along the way. 

“A few days into the first week, they put me on a couple of projects so I got the chance to interact with clients and produce meaningful work. What’s more, Deloitte is serious about prioritising diversity, which stood out for me as a young Samoan female in the technology field.” 

Sanita has been working two jobs over summer - at Deloitte as an intern during the weekdays and the other at Trade Me as a customer service rep on the weekend. 

During 2018, she will continue working at Trade Me, while taking on her third year of study at Victoria University, working towards a Bachelor of Commerce (double majoring in Information Systems and Management). 

The Deloitte internship has provided Sanita with ideas of what she might like to focus on in her career – perhaps a job involving both elements of technology and business.

“The internship I’m on at the moment involves a good mixture of the two, so a role in technology consulting may be in the cards. 

“At some point in my career, I’d also be really keen to get involved in a start- up, preferably one that involves giving back to the community.” 

Sanita adds it is so important to support young Pacific people who are stepping out and succeeding in their chosen fields, especially in fields where they are still a minority. 

“We acknowledge we’re not only representing ourselves, but also our families, friends and communities and it was both encouraging and humbling to be part of the awards – as a result I’ve been able to join a network of amazing PIs.” 

This year, the P.M.P.Y.A. is taking place in Auckland at the end of March. 

Deloitte Wellington Partner Linda Meade says it is the third year Deloitte has chosen to support the awards, which align with the organisation’s vision of making an impact that matters, and in particular supporting talent excellence. 

“Supporting these awards contributes towards greater diversity in our intern and/or graduate intakes, which in turn provides significant benefits to our business,” she adds. 

“Meanwhile, Deloitte provides valuable work experience in a high calibre professional services firm, with the possibility of a permanent graduate job offer.”

Applications for 2018 P.M.P.Y.A. close on February 6, with an early bird prize on offer to all those who apply before January 31.

© Samoa Observer 2016

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