Variety of opportunities for young professional
Posted on Wednesday 4 March 2020
After growing up in Minnesota, Intepeople’s Amanda Burggraff shares her story of moving to Nelson Tasman as a young professional and reflects on her time in the region.
What do you do for work in the Nelson Tasman region?
I work at Intepeople as a Sourcing Specialist, which means assisting the recruitment process for finding awesome candidates for many of Nelson Tasman’s clever businesses.
How do you find the region as a place to work?
When I came to New Zealand, we definitely picked the Nelson Tasman region as our favourite. My partner and I had lived in Auckland for two years, but Nelson Tasman was number one as it provided a good work-life balance. At the beginning, we didn't actually think it would be possible for us to relocate and both find good jobs that supported our careers, but we were stoked when it all started coming together.
There’s a lot of variety of jobs here in Nelson Tasman. For example, you can find collaborative workspaces like The Bridge Street Collective which creates a shared workspace for those who are self-employed or work remotely all the way through to companies like Cawthron where employees are doing world-class scientific research. I’ve seen other young professionals start up their own businesses in hobbies they enjoy like baking or photography. Overall, there’s a lot of opportunities across a variety of industries.
What drew you to live in Nelson Tasman and how did you hear about the region?
Mostly through our own travel in New Zealand and after spending time in Nelson Tasman, it was clear that it was our favourite spot. Different people, friends and connections that had come to the region also spoke very positively of it. We kept a close watch on job advertisements and one day my partner’s eyes lit with excitement while reading through a job opportunity that aligned with his skills and experience. He was invited for an interview, then flown down to Nelson to get a hands-on feel for the new possibility and to our excitement he received a job offer.
I was grateful that Intepeople was happy to meet with me and an opportunity became available to work internally with the team. This was exactly what I was looking for as it closely matched my experience and career goals. The team was lovely, and I was happy to be joining them shortly after.
What has surprised you since you have moved to the area?
There is so much more going on in Nelson Tasman than you think, especially when it comes to the local businesses. Those living outside of the region may hear about a few of the larger employers but Nelson Tasman is a hub for so many different and diverse businesses too.
For example, you can take a tour through Pic’s Peanut Butter factory or sample a craft beer at McCashin’s. Then there’s Proper Crisps producing chips from New Zealand potatoes and leading the way with compostable bags. And even from production companies through to the digital app space, there’s the local employer Shuttlerock, an international company that is rooted in Nelson Tasman and so is New Zealand Māori app creators – Plink Software.
There’s a bit of everything! And a lot of them are making a big difference nationally and internationally too.
What do you value about living and working in the region?
It’s great that the region is very communal, and it really feels like everyone supports each other. For example, even when it comes to recruitment, I love that Intepeople gets to share our local business stories. We can help promote them and join their journey, supporting them with their growth, change or development.
Intepeople also works closely with the Nelson Tasman Innovation Neighbourhood where recently they went live with a HR Grad Share Programme this summer providing a graduate the opportunity to work across four local employers over a two year period – Port Nelson, Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology, Nelson Forests and Nelmac. It’s another example of Nelson Tasman employers collaboratively working together to share resources and provide such unique opportunities for people in the region.
What do you think the region adds personally to your lifestyle?
The opportunity to purchase a house here was a big one for me and my partner. When you’re living in a place like Auckland it's almost impossible as a young professional. That was definitely a big milestone for us to reach.
Another great thing is the commutes are short. When I tell friends and family back home that it takes me seven minutes to bike to work, they laugh. It’s a bit tough to do that through snow and the big cities of Minnesota. Even when I was living in Auckland I was doing an hour and a half commute each way so it's certainly different in that aspect.
With shorter commutes it means we have more time in our day to do the things we enjoy. It is also easy to make super spontaneous decisions – ‘just pack your bags and go!’.
What would you say to the people thinking of moving to Nelson Tasman?
Do it! I think a concern for young professionals is if they’ve just finished university, they may feel that Nelson Tasman isn't necessarily going to progress their career or it will be hard to network with people, but I would actually say it’s the opposite. If you want to make something happen or connect with people, it's really easy to do. There’s a lot of creative and ambitious people here and because Nelson Tasman has a close community it does bridge that gap between people and making things happen.
I think ‘young professionals’ are also very valued in organisations here. Many Nelson Tasman businesses appreciate having some younger voices in the company, having their energy, collaboration or potentially a different perspective on things. Millennials are slightly different than our previous generations which they actually really harness here. I've been impressed to see some of the young professionals I’ve met in Nelson Tasman who have now started their own companies or are gaining senior leadership positions. They’ve just found their own avenue to get something going for themselves. It’s really great to see it.
There’s also a community for those in their 20’s and 30’s called the Nelson Young Professionals which is a fantastic way to connect with others – people eager to get out and enjoy activities together while still eager to progress professionally. It’s great to have a like-minded community who want to ‘Work, Play, Stay’ in our Nelson Tasman region.
Were there any networks, groups or clubs that you joined when you came to Nelson Tasman?
I had just been here a few months but saw that the Nelson Young Professionals were advertising teams for corporate rowing which for me was a super foreign sport, even though in Minnesota we have 10,000 lakes. I suppose it’s not common because our summer months are too short before the lakes freeze over.
I thought I’d give rowing a go as I love the water and I hadn't been in a team sport in a long time. Then one thing led to another and all of a sudden, we had these incredible, passionate coaches that were putting 110% into us and to have that type of motivation was great. It’s a great community where we are not always just rowing either, sometimes we’re trying new activities like boxing or yoga or swimming laps. I tell you, I'm not a morning person, but slowly they got us all up rowing before work. I would have never thought that would be me! My partner and I also really enjoy the kite surfing community here and the hiking and mountain biking is really good too.
Another really great group that had initially been established in Auckland, but now they have spread across the North and South Island is the social enterprise called 'Got To Get Out'. They offer a variety of sports and activities throughout many towns and cities in New Zealand, so this year I joined their snowboarding and skiing trips to Rainbow ski field, which was a blast.
What have you learnt the most after moving to and living in Nelson Tasman for a year?
I think moving to a new place is always challenging especially in the first few months but if you stick at it, try new things and put yourself out there to build relationships it will feel like home. I'll give an example, yesterday I got off work and I just had a lot of bubbled energy and didn’t have any plans so after a quick Google search, I found out the Nutcracker ballet was performing and I was like, ‘Hey I've never been!’ It was just a whole different group of people that I hadn't been exposed to. I think in the Nelson Tasman region even if you're already involved with particular activities or have established connections or networks, you just have to remember there's still so much more out there to discover.
Nelson Tasman offers the best of both worlds – work opportunities as well as a ‘playground’ on our doorstep. With the mountains, the ocean, beaches and the Nelson lakes all at your fingertips – you can’t get much better than that!
To discover more about living and working in Nelson Tasman click here.