Meet our Graduates

Vainui Moresi |Employment Relations Policy - Labour, Science and Enterprise

What did you study at University?

I studied a Bachelor of Commerce majoring in Information Science and Human Resource Management at the University of Otago.

Why did you apply for the Graduate Programme at MBIE?

I got the opportunity to intern here during the summer of 2019/2020 and really enjoyed my experience and team. The graduate programme to me seemed an obvious fit to carry on learning about policy and it’s in and outs.

What is your favourite thing about the Programme so far?

My favourite thing so far has been the people in our cohort and the familiar faces around MBIE welcoming us in this year. It’s been cool to learn about how others got here and how different our background of education is which I think can only be a positive.

What is an interesting piece of work you have been working on?

The piece of work I will be undertaking involves the Fair Pay Agreement’s project currently being completed by my Employment Relations Team. I have done some work on it when I was here for my internship so am familiar with the project and I am excited to continue to help it through these final stages in whatever capacity.

What do you hope to get out of the Graduate Programme?

When I finish this programme I hope to be confident in my writing of policy and better my understanding of the process as a whole. I also hope to just have a fun time in general with my cohort and work team.

Brent Bautista | Strategic Policy and Programmes - Economic Strategy

What did you study at University?

I did a Master of International Relations degree at Victoria University of Wellington, and did my Bachelor of Arts in Development Studies, International Relations and Political Science, with a minor in Spanish there too.

Why did you apply for the Graduate Programme at MBIE?

I heard good things about the programme prior to applying, both from friends and my wider social network. It is well regarded across government, and gives grads a wide range of areas to work on. Overall, MBIE stood out to me as a great place to grow and start a career in the public sector.

What is your favourite thing about the Programme so far?

Two things: first, the work has been rewarding. Knowing that what I do in my day to day life actively contributes to working towards a better New Zealand for all of us in itself has been a great motivation in my life. Second, the people I’ve met through my role. My team, manager and general manager have been great supporters and have always looked after me.

What is an interesting piece of work you have been doing?

One of my early projects entering the graduate programme was researching and providing advice on Intergenerational Equity; what it means; how to get there, and the opportunities and risks for New Zealand in this area. It’s all the more rewarding now that other agencies have began incorporating this into what they do.

What do you hope to get out of the Graduate Programme?

It’s cliché, but at the end of the programme and anything else I do, I want to come out as a better version of myself –professionally and personally. I have refined my thinking, I am better able to critically analyse situations, and most importantly, cultivate my relationships with others which is paramount to a career in policy.

Anastasia Wilkes | Immigration Policy - Labour, Science and Enterprise

What did you study at University?

I studied a Bachelor of Arts at Victoria University in Wellington, majoring in Public Policy and Political Science. I also did a minor in International Relations.

Why did you apply for the Graduate Programme at MBIE?

I knew I wanted to work in policy and MBIE was attractive because it offers so many different areas to work in and I knew it would be an exciting and dynamic place to work. The grad programme was also really appealing because there is no requirement to have previous work experience and I would be able to learn on the job.

What is your favourite thing about the programme so far?

I have really appreciated the educational opportunities available at MBIE which have been valuable for expanding my skills in policy and improving my ability to work effectively and think deeply about issues. We have benefited from trainings on a wide range of topics including Finance, Public Sector Ethics and Regulatory stewardship and we have then been able to apply the skills learnt in these trainings to our policy work.

What is an interesting piece of work you have been doing?

I work on facilitating the entry of people into New Zealand following the closure of the border in March 2020 to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The New Zealand border closure was definitely never something I expected to occur, nor so soon after starting at MBIE. It has been a fantastic learning opportunity because it is a completely new situation for everyone. Consequently, I have been able to contribute and be fully involved in the wider policy process and even had the opportunity to lead several pieces of work. I have been able to work on a wide range of policy topics including defining the critical workforce, enabling family reunification and New Zealand’s humanitarian commitments. The rapidly-moving and interconnected nature of the work has been exciting as each month presents new challenges and I have enjoyed refining my policy skills in such a dynamic environment.

What do you hope to get out of the Graduate Programme?

The graduate programme has allowed me to develop transferrable skills in policy that I am keen to keep refining throughout the programme. My aim is to continue learning about the challenges our communities face so that I can use my skills to work towards improving the lives of people in New Zealand.

Lauren Hancock | International Labour Policy - Labour, Science and Enterprise

What did you study at University?

I studied a Bachelor of Arts in French, History and International Relations with Honours in History at Victoria University of Wellington.

Why did you apply for the Graduate Programme at MBIE?

I applied for the Graduate Programme at MBIE because I wanted to work in a challenging environment with the opportunity to make meaningful change. Policy seemed like it would be a cool combination of working with other people, using the research skills I developed at university, and problem solving. I was also really interested in MBIE’s role in New Zealand’s global presence and the levers we use to engage internationally.

What is your favourite thing about the Programme so far?

Something that is cool about the MBIE grad programme is that we are given a lot of responsibility and trust, with a great support network to fall back on. I love that I get to work on real problems and that our work has a genuine impact on the lives of New Zealanders. Getting to do a job where people are at the heart of all your decisions is really rewarding and means every day there is a new challenge. I have built some great relationships throughout the programme – whether with my team, my branch or with my grad cohort – which has made settling into my first full-time job that much easier.

What is an interesting piece of work you have been working on?

As part of a larger work programme to address temporary migrant worker exploitation in New Zealand I am currently working to implement a decision from Cabinet to introduce a new duty on third parties with significant control or influence over an employer to prevent employment standard breaches in supply chains. I am also involved in New Zealand’s hosting of APEC21 through the Human Resources Development Working Group. Having studied International Relations, the opportunity to be involved in New Zealand’s international engagements is so exciting and beyond anything I thought I would have been doing in the first 12-months of my career.

What do you hope to get out of the Graduate Programme?

I think I have already learned so much from the Graduate Programme – I have developed a broad range of transferable skills, worked on some really meaningful projects and grown massively as a person. I want to continue to build on and refine these skills, broaden my knowledge base, and see some of my projects through to completion.

Kuini Vidal | Trade and International Policy - Labour, Science and Enterprise

What did you study at University?

I did a BCom in Economics and Public Policy and a BA in Political Science, with a History minor.

Why did you apply for the Graduate Programme at MBIE?

I knew I wanted to work in Policy, and working somewhere that provides opportunities to create a better, fairer Aotearoa for my communities and other underserved communities is really important to me. I also wanted to be well supported to develop the skills needed to work in policy. I thought the breadth of policy areas which MBIE works on would allow me to do both of these things.

What is your favourite thing about the programme so far?

I’ve received so much support from my Manager and the Seniors in my team who I work with. Being able to build great relationships, learn a lot and exercise the skills I’m learning is awesome.

What is an interesting piece of work you have been doing?

So many things! My favourite policy piece of work has been an APEC project on the feasibility of developing a low-carbon hydrogen international standard. I’ve learnt so much and have been able to take on a lot of responsibility and work quite independently.
I’ve also had the opportunity (after a brief stint in MIQ Policy) to work in the Minister for MIQ and subsequently Minister for COVID-19 Response’s Office helping out as a Private Secretary. It’s been really cool to see what things are like “at the other end.”

What do you hope to get out of the Graduate Programme?

I want to learn as much as I possibly can, prepare myself for a career in policy and contribute to meaningful policy which improves the lives of New Zealanders.