From cleaning Blue River Dairy’s floors to overseeing the entire company’s IT, former SIT student Daniel Paiva has come a long way in the two years since he left Brazil.
Attracted by New Zealand’s standard of living, safety, strong economy and overall quality of life Daniel enrolled in SIT’s Post-Graduate Diploma in IT in 2016.
That March he accepted a temporary job cleaning the factory floors.
“They saw I was reliable and hard-working and moved me to the production line,” he said.
While on the factory’s production line Daniel noted people were sometimes using pen and paper for jobs that could be more efficiently done electronically.
“I offered to help management improve their systems. Over a weekend I created a prototype for new software. They weren’t expecting that! After they saw what I was able to do I asked to be promoted. I ended up being hired full time as a software engineer. Now I oversee all of Blue River Dairy’s IT and develop and implement new applications.”
Daniel’s manager Rod Bott says Blue River employs about 15 former international students.
“You’ve got to think out of the square in today’s environment, these students are driven and looking for an opportunity to shine,” he says.
Daniel is also training to be a life guard and contributes to his community through church activities.
Venture Southland’s CEO Paul Casson says international students provide additional skills and experience for Regional New Zealand, and graduates such as Daniel demonstrate that they can study in the region and gain employment once they have completed their education.
“It’s fantastic and the region and community appreciate the energy and knowledge that these new “Southlanders” bring to our community.
“Southland has many jobs that need to be filled now and into the future, and as the Economic Development Agency for the region International students are welcomed and seen as a valuable resource both to our businesses and our community.”
Joice Dondalski, Venture Southland’s International Education Manager agreed.
“Students like Daniel are a great example of the untapped potential benefits international students can offer Southland’s businesses.
“Daniel’s success is a real credit to him, there’s lots of opportunities for students in Southland but it can be hard to get a first job in a foreign country. Daniel is an example of a student who was very proactive. Many other international students are also contributing to Southland’s economy not only through taking up opportunities but also through starting their own businesses.”
Joice says international students add vibrancy and culture to Southland and help Southlanders be global citizens.
“Having international students in classrooms brings the world to Kiwi students, building connections and exposing them to relationships that can only be beneficial.”