Hosting a Skilled Migrant Intern

The Johnson Group has been a partner of the Skilled Migrant Programme since 2007, and we couldn’t be happier with our involvement. 

We are one of three partners involved with the innovative and successful programme run by Victoria University Being involved in the Skilled Migrant Programme is very important to us. As recruiters, The Johnson Group is aware of the labour issues surrounding New Zealand’s workforce. Skilled migrants are an important part of addressing skill shortages, both presently and in the future.
Working closely with Victoria University and the Rotary Club of Wellington, we have helped skilled migrants who were unemployed—or underemployed—find their feet in the New Zealand job market. 

This 12-week programme aims to help participants develop the communication skills and gain the workplace experience they need to find jobs that reflect their qualifications.

Recently, our mother company, Alpha Recruitment, hosted an intern. Unsurprisingly, it was a successful experience, and we’d like to share it with you. 

Hosting a Skilled Migrant Intern

For a period of six weeks, the team at Alpha hosted an intern via Victoria University’s Skilled Migrant Programme (SMP). We had successfully matched the team with Sherine Neinaa, who had joined them in the capacity of Team Administrator.

Originally from Egypt, Sherine joined the team with a background in education and administration.

Is it worth it?

When Alpha first learned about the programme and that an intern needed a host employer, they were, at first, doubtful. Lots of questions arose—Could they give Sherine a beneficial experience? Did they have the capacity to be a good host? What if they didn’t have enough work?

Unsurprisingly, these questions are more common than one might think.

Our Skilled Migrant Programme Coordinator, Georgie Carter, sat with the team at Alpha and addressed all their concerns and helped to ease them. Before long, the team had put their heads together and had a look at what projects needed doing and if they had any backlogs that Sherine could pick up. And then, without delay, a job description was drafted, and the role of Team Administrator was created.

The Perfect Fit

As we had predicted, Sherine slotted in without missing a beat. According to Alpha’s Recruitment Specialist, Bernice Jackson, who was also Sherine’s mentor, “Sherine brought an amazing attitude. She always wanted to learn and make sure everything was done to a high standard. She was an amazing addition to our team, while taking some stress off us with our workload and some backlog. She also fit into our team spectacularly.” 

General Manager, Jane Reddiex, also commented on how Sherine’s presence had positively affected their team. “Having Sherine in the team helped hugely with the whole aspect of diversity and inclusion. We are a small team and having her with us really made us think about cultural differences and how to build them into our team successfully. We all feel richer for the experience.” 

It wasn’t only the team at Alpha that enjoyed the experience. When asked of the benefits of partaking in an internship, Sherine stated, “It was an amazing experience; it was a good opportunity to put my skills into practice, enrich my working experience and develop my work performance. It helped me to apply new understandings to a real work context. I believe that even though my internship was only for six weeks, being a team administrator at Alpha helped me to gain extensive experience in the admin field. Moreover, I was exposed to various systems and different working styles. As a migrant coming from a different background, being a part of Alpha team helped me to develop my communication skills to be more suitable and acceptable to the New Zealand context. And lastly, I was delighted to meet amazing people and expand my connections.” 

A Successful Experience

Suffice it to say, the internship was a success for all those involved. The team may well be thinking of hosting another intern in the next intake. “We would love to host another intern in the future! We were a little on the fence to begin with, as we weren’t sure how much time and resource we would have to invest to get someone up to speed. We were definitely impressed with how well Sherine picked things up and got right into it,” said Bernice Jackson. 

We asked Sherine if she wanted to share anything further about her experience, and she did.  

“I was fortunate to have my internship at Alpha Recruitment. I want to thank Bernice for her great support, patience and her super friendly approach. I appreciate her taking the time to answer all my questions, expose me to everything and always checking that I am doing fine. She made my internship at Alpha a rewarding time, and I can’t thank her enough.

Moreover, I want to thank Kate [Langston] for her encouragement, positive attitude and her motivational feedback. I enjoyed working with her and I will miss her amazing sense of humour. I also want to tell Emma [Graham] that she leads by an example and I learnt a lot by watching her working.

Finally, I want to thank my manager Jane Reddiex for giving me this amazing opportunity and for taking the time to help me settle in and feel welcome. I learnt a lot during my 6 weeks with Alpha and I gained valuable work experience. It was my pleasure being part of the team.”

And from the team to Sherine, they’ve said, “Sherine, you were such a HUGE help to our team, and we loved having you with us. If we did need someone permanently, we would have taken you on in a heartbeat. You have all the skills and now also experience. Getting into the job market can be tough, but once you are in, you will be more than capable of doing any admin job!

We wish you all the best of luck and can’t wait to hear where your next opportunity is.”

Well, it looks like the team at Alpha Recruitment are now SMP converts and will look forward to supporting the programme for many years to come!

What Next?

If you would like to know more about how you can host an intern, it’s easy—get in touch with Georgie Carter on 027-325-2462 or email

Georgie Carter
Skilled Migrant Programme
Victoria University