I shouldn’t have taken the business course.
Each time, Filipinos ask me what I’m studying here and I reply business, they shake their heads or say, “Ay, mahirap yan!” (That’s hard). Not that the course is hard but I will have difficulty looking for a job.
I know that I need to invest more than a million pesos just to study in New Zealand. But what I don’t know is that I may never be able to recoup that investment given the situation.
But since I am here, I just assume that I am on a one-year vacation in Middle Earth, and after that very long holiday, I go home with memories of the beautiful surroundings and photographs.
New Zealand is a very beautiful country.
In my job search, I realized that the reality here is daunting for me, a business student.
One of the obstacles that I experienced here is not only making a customised Kiwi CV but meeting the requirement of a New Zealand experience, in which case I have none. My challenge was to get my first job. Which I did after two months and it was a two-day casual job as a Kitchen Help, and it was not even related to business.
To attract students, the immigration allows 20 hours of work per week, but since I have a business course, I was also competing with thousands of international students as well as New Zealanders.
When I decided to come to New Zealand I had this big eye on the prize. I did my research and learned that there were plenty of jobs related to business management courses on the essential skills or so, I thought. I had this realistic belief about what I can do – I am smart, I am hardworking, I have more than enough work experience, I have outstanding communication skills, dah, dah.
I griped and felt deceive in the process. I was told jobs are easy to find.
Some are lucky yes, probably two out of ten can be lucky. In my case, I had hundreds and hundreds of applications that are rejected. I even attended two job-search seminars and leveled up my job-hunting techniques. At first, it was depressing but I got used to it that I no longer read my inbox anymore and got depressed even more.
I reckoned that business management may be a course where most New Zealanders are into. This means that I was also competing with them. Most of the jobs also require a two-year work visa, a residency or a citizenship.
I only have a one-year work visa.
The only consolation I have is that I share the same sentiment with a number of Filipino migrants (who are not just students). Sometimes a heated discussion about particular educational agents who scammed Filipinos are topics in Buhay Estudyante sa New Zealand, a Facebook page for international students.
I was not scammed by my agent though. We just both didn’t know what is really going on.
Regret often comes last.
I should not have taken the business course.
I shouldn’t have.