Working with a team who is passionate about Pacific success is a driving force for Hazel Umaga, an intern at the Ministry for Pacific Peoples (MPP).
The Auckland University of Technology (AUT) Business student joined the MPP team before Christmas to complete a three-month internship, and she says, since day one, it has felt like she has joined a family, rather than an organisation.
Born and raised in New Zealand, and of Samoan descent, Hazel attended Otahuhu’s McAuley High School and is currently completing her final year of university.
This year she will graduate with Business degree majoring in Accounting and HR.
In 2018, Hazel received the BNZ Commercial and Corporate Award supported by the Ministry at the Prime Minister’s Pacific Youth Awards (PMPYA).
As part of the award, Hazel was offered the three-month internship at MPP she is currently completing.
“At MPP I have had the opportunity to work alongside the HR Manager as well as the Finance Manager, and have gained experience in both areas which will be hugely beneficial in the future,” she says.
“I have learnt the value of team building and nurturing relationships with those around us especially the community.
“Being selfless brings so much joy and much more success.”
Hazel is interested in a career where she can help her Pacific peers gain higher education and or employment.
“I never had a clear vision on how I could use my study majors to help my Pacific peers but after working with MPP, my mindset has expanded, helping me understand how I might achieve this.”
Hazel says she is loving her time at MPP, and would not hesitate to recommend an internship at the Ministry to other students.