You don’t have to speak four languages to get into the Westpac NZ graduate programme, but it sure helps.
Jamie Chiang, 23, has a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Auckland, majoring in Business Analytics and Marketing, but she learned to speak multiple languages through her upbringing.
“I was born in New Zealand, so I speak English, but I learnt Taiwanese from my grandparents, Mandarin from my parents and studied Japanese in school,” she said.
“Since starting the Westpac graduate programme in 2020, I’ve been asked to translate documents by both branch staff and the private wealth team.
“Japanese has been a frequent request, I’ve translated a few branch signs into Mandarin, and one very complicated Taiwanese Chinese document that took me three days,” she said.
Translation isn’t her day job though.
Jamie came into the bank thinking she wanted to work in marketing. But while rotating through different departments in the grad programme, she realised people development and improving the employee experience at Westpac is where her passion lies.
And she has been given the opportunity to create her own role at the end of the programme.
“I’m involved in a new initiative called Tech Academy. I’ve been working on the on-boarding process for new staff and a handbook for new starters. My two-year grad programme finishes at the end of the year, and I’ve been asked to figure out what I can bring to the company and pitch a new role for myself.
“I’ve realised that I’m talented at reading people and understanding why people think the way that they do.
“Within the next five years I'd like to go back to university to study organisational development and psychology. I’m passionate about the learning and development of people,” she said.
Her advice to other young people graduating university is to not shoebox themselves into one career path.
"You won’t know if you like something until you try it. I came out of university thinking I wanted to do marketing, but then I changed my mind,” she said.