Cecile Tanuvasa works as a service request analyst for Auckland Council, but that wasn’t always the case.
Tanuvasa is of Samoan heritage and grew up in Otara with her mother, father and three siblings.
When Tanuvasa left highschool she wanted to progress her studies at a university, but her parents had aged considerably and required financial support.
“My parents are quite elderly, so when I finished high school I wanted to study but also wanted to work to help them out.”
Rather than giving up on her dream Tanuvasa decided to push herself to her limits and take on the mammoth task of both tertiary education and a job.
“During the day I would attend my lectures and study in the library and afterward I would work the night shift at a nearby factory.”
She graduated in 2019 with an impressive and well deserved double major in computer science and mathematics, but she struggled to get her foot in the door.
“A lot of people in my class found jobs pretty easily, but most of those interned before they left university.”
“I couldn’t afford to intern because it would mean quitting my job.”
Two years and a handful of unenjoyable jobs later, Tanuvasa was still seeking employment in the tech sector.
“I got this interview for a job at a different company, and on the same day, moments before my interview, my phone went off.”
“It was a recruiter from 3BF.”
“She said she was working for a company which helps Pasifika into tech related roles and that she had stumbled across my LinkedIn profile.”
“She said that if I were offered a role after my interview I should hold off from accepting it for a bit, so she could show me what else is out there.”
Tunavasa’s interview was a success and she was offered a position, but she couldn’t help but feel that taking it would be the wrong move.
“I really didn’t enjoy the interview, the people were not kind at all.”
“I felt as if I could trust 3BF as well as the people they were putting me in touch with, I thought they genuinely wanted what was best for me.”
Tanuvasa put her trust in her gut and declined the offer. She said it was one of the best decisions she ever made.
“3BF put me in touch with someone at Auckland council, we had similar stories, similar family values and he helped me get into the role that I’m in now.”
“It’s been great, it’s the best job I’ve ever had.”
Tanuvasa never forgets her roots, and thinks Maori and Pasifika have been downplayed within the tech sector for too long.
“I think Pasifika and Maori and their strong work ethics are really undervalued in New Zealand society, because of my job I’m one of the lucky ones.”