Sonia Lusita de Oliveira has joined the Pacific Trade Invest (PTI) New Zealand offices in Auckland as a student intern. Sonja’s internship is part of the Pacific Co-operation Foundation Summer Intern 2018-19 programme through the New Zealand Development Scholarship Programme.
Sonia was born and raised in Dili, the capital of Timor Leste, where she finished the first twelve years of her studies. She is now pursuing a Bachelor of Business degree in AUT as an international student, majoring in International Business and Accounting.
Timor Leste, is the first country to have become independent in the 21st century, having become free on 20 May 2002, after previously being ruled by Portugal for centuries and then for a few decades by Indonesia. Though not a part of the Pacific Island Forum as a full member, Timor Leste, which has a population of just over a million people, is an Observer Country of the Forum.
“Pursuing a degree in a place far from home can be quite challenging at times. Moreover, coming from a family of eight with five siblings and being used to living in a neighbourhood that is always crowded makes it easy to get homesick,” Sonia told Pacific Periscope.
“So, to avoid homesickness, in my spare time I love to read, whether it’s news, knowledge or just anything for fun. Sometimes, I also enjoy binge watching series, or once in a while, I take leisurely walks around the city to admire and capture the beauty of New Zealand as photography is one of the things I love,” she added.
Through her ten-week-long internship with PTI NZ, she hopes to apply the knowledge and skills that she has acquired through classroom learning. “I also am keen to build my communication and other required skills in the fields that I am interested in. As I will be graduating in August next year, I hope this internship will help me get ready for the real corporate world and enable me to contribute to the development of my country,” she said.
Sonia says she is passionate about learning and has always wanted to contribute to teams she works with. “Throughout my high school years in Dili, I enjoyed working as a volunteer for two different youth organisations to improve myself and built my skills which has helped me develop my passion to contribute back to my community. While pursuing my degree in Auckland, I volunteered as a street collector for New Zealand Red Cross.”
While at PTI NZ, Sonia will contribute to research and help classify content for one of PTI NZ’s important online projects.