January 31, 2023

Gypsy-Rose, our TupuToa intern

E ngā mana, E ngā reo, E ngā karangatanga maha, tēnā koutou katoa.

About me
Kia ora, Ko Gypsy-Rose Koteka toku ingoa – My name is Gypsy-Rose Koteka. I am of Māori and Cook Island Māori decent, born and bred in the Waikato region, specifically the town of Tokoroa. I am currently finishing off my second year of my Bachelor of Arts degree double majoring in Cultural Anthropology and Religious Studies, at Te Herenga Waka – Victoria University of Wellington. Coming from a small town, opportunities aren’t always available, one could say that you have to make your own or go searching for it, for things to happen, and that I did. I’m now a part of the 2022/23 cohort for TupuToa, where I got the opportunity to intern here in Wellington at JacksonStone & Partners for the summer.

In all honesty, I had no intentions of applying for an internship, let alone TupuToa, but the encouragement from those around me who helped and guided me to go for it really pushed me to apply. The worst that could happen would be that I wouldn’t get one, but to my surprise I got an offer. The start of the new and exciting journey. From a small-town girl to the capital city, making changes little by little, for those who came before me and those who will follow after me, and those who are the future of tomorrow.

Who are TupuToa
TupuToa is a Māori and Pacifica organisation that works to guarantee that corporate Aotearoa is a true reflection of our nation by empowering and developing our people and enhancing the cultural competence of their partners. TupuToa programmes seek to eliminate intergenerational disadvantage and address the ongoing injustices that plague our communities. They strive to lower discriminatory entrance that affect Māori and Pacifica populations, and they assist organisations in successfully hiring and integrating Māori and Pacifica individuals. This year I am a part of a cohort of over 200 Māori and Pacifica individuals taking part in internships across Aotearoa and even internationally to showcase brown excellence in all sorts of working sectors. TupuToa has been such a great experience so far, and I can’t wait to see where I’ll be in the coming years after the internship. This year’s motto/theme for 2022/23 cohort is “He manu hoou ahau. He Pii, Ka rere.” – “I am a young bird, a chick preparing to fly”.

A motto/theme that I’ve been following throughout my internship to keep me accountable and on the right track when times and life get tough. The motto talks about a young bird and how at first has to grow feathers to fly, and each feather represents the experiences that one will go through to finally fly and that being said, the end of the internship and beyond the internship is the chick (me) finally flying from one destination to another.

My time at JacksonStone
Without a question, being involved with JSP (JacksonStone & Partners) has improved my professional and personal growth, expanding my skill set and increasing my employability as a whole. Both my collaboration and team management abilities have improved in me as well, and how to build meaningful professional connections. I enhanced my ability to manage my time and communicate effectively, two areas in which I hope to keep progressing.

As my time with JSP comes to end, no words can describe the way this experience allowed me to grow, appreciate, understand and get a first-hand look into the recruitment processes that I would have never had the opportunity to do if not for TupuToa, and those who encouraged me to do so. The people I got to work with, the offices I got to work in and the experiences I got to experience with them during work hours and even after hours. JSP has been such a blessing in every way possible from the first day I entered the office to now as my last few weeks, days, and hours slowly creep up on me. I feel sad to have to say goodbye to such a great team and company to be able to do an internship with and in. I will forever be grateful for this amazing opportunity, and the privilege of getting to work with some wonderful down to earth people this summer. I look forward to what the future brings me and for JSP as well.

To that I say thank you JSP.
Nga Manaakitanga