Updating Results

Go with Tourism

  • < 100 employees

Leticia Smith

My role is so diverse that it requires a real range of skills, which many people from different backgrounds may have and is the perfect role to transition into your preferred career path

What's your job about?

Go with Tourism is a government-funded initiative to help build New Zealand’s Tourism and Hospitality workforce. Notable elements of the project include matching job seekers and employers through the Job Connector, a nationwide education programme, and various engagement activities to educate Kiwis on how successful careers in the industry can be.

My role as a Project Coordinator is often referred to as ‘the glue that holds the project together! I support all aspects of the project and team and ensure everything runs smoothly. My responsibilities and daily/weekly tasks are dependent on the priorities of the business at the time but often include the following:

  • Admin and Financial Support – answering customer enquiries; raising purchase orders and financial contracts; arranging logistics/travel arrangements for the entire team; acting as personal assistant to the Programme Director; providing administrative support to the entire team and our different programmes.
  • Event Coordination – Manage Exhibitor, Interns and Volunteers; assist in planning and delivery of national Go with Tourism Expos and other events; building relationships with contractors/suppliers; financial and marketing support, specifically for events; reporting and surveying.
  • Business Development Support – Updating/managing CMS and CRM; onboarding new businesses and job seekers; reaching out to new businesses and partners; reporting and tracking KPIs.
  • Marketing Support - Creating social media content and EDM comms; assisting Content Producer with filming/campaign production; assisting Marketing Manager, whenever needed.
  • Education Programme - Visiting Schools and PTEs to assist in delivering the Education Programme; exhibiting at regional, nationwide and local Career Expos; completing admin for our Pledge a Placement programme.

What's your background?

I grew up in Tauranga and no matter where I end up, I still call Tauranga home. In my teen years, I felt like school wasn’t right for me and dropped out in Year 12. Looking back now, if I could change one thing about my life it would be graduating college.

Because I was unsure of what I wanted to do, I went straight into the workforce and progressed from Team Member to Store Manager within 9 years at KFC. I knew that I wanted more for my life and made the hard decision to resign and enrolled at the New Zealand School of Tourism in Hamilton.

A requirement of my qualification was to complete an internship and, after seeing a presentation about Go with Tourism from my current boss, I sent an email stating my wish to work for the company. They were so blown away by my passion, that I successfully gained an internship with Go with Tourism. During the internship, I was residing in Hamilton and commuted by bus from Hamilton to the office in Auckland every weekday for 4 months (leaving home at 5:30 am and returning home around 8 pm). After completing my internship and graduating as Top Overall Student for NZST in my cohort, the Go with Tourism team recognised my hard work and dedication and created the Project Coordination role to keep me on full time.

In total, including my time as an intern, I have been part of the Go with Tourism team for 22 months and have loved every minute of it.

Could someone with a different background do your job?

Yes! My role is so diverse that it requires a real range of skills, which many people from different backgrounds may have and is the perfect role to transition into your preferred career path. However, to succeed in my role you need to be able to multitask and prioritise easily, as you can be given tasks at a moment’s notice. The ability to learn new skills quickly is very important, too.

Something that comes to mind when thinking about suitability for my role is that “you can teach a skill, but you can’t teach attitude”; if you’re a hard worker and determined, this role is perfect for you.

What's the coolest thing about your job?

I have really enjoyed delivering our Go with Tourism Expos this year in Christchurch, Auckland, Dunedin, Hamilton and Wellington. I was able to meet some awesome people along the way and inspire our rangatahi about careers in Tourism and Hospitality.

Even though planning for an event is pretty hectic and takes months to get right, when you see the finished event come to light, it makes it all worth it.

What are the limitations of your job?

Because I support all aspects of Go with Tourism’s projects, there is a degree of responsibility that I take on. However, in terms of limitations, the only time I work weekends is when we run events but otherwise, it’s a normal Monday to Friday 9-5 job. My job is not physically demanding but if I don’t prioritise tasks well, then managing workload can be difficult.

3 pieces of advice for yourself when you were a student...

  1. Stick it out – whilst I was working at KFC, I graduated with my Level 5 Diploma in Tourism but, after being promoted to Store Manager I went back to full-time work and it wasn’t until 5 years later that I finished my Level 6 studies in Hamilton.
  2. Networking is an important skill to have – this industry is all about who you know, so networking and relationship building is a skill I wish I had further developed as a student and young person.
  3. Slow down and take it all in – in all the hustle and bustle of work and life you can forget to take time to appreciate and enjoy the moments; I’ve had some brilliant experiences so far and can’t wait to see what happens in future!