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Te Rina Scrimshaw

A love for people defines career choices for TupuToa cadet

Growing up in Mt Maunganui, in a family of six children, Te Rina Scrimshaw (Te Arawa, Ngai Tahu) always knew she wanted to work with people.

While in the final months of a Bachelor of Management Studies (Marketing and Strategic Management), a search for internship opportunities led Te Rina to TupuToa and a study and internship opportunity in Vietnam. However, Covid-19 had other plans, and the trip got postponed. She then decided to look for fulltime work following the completion of her degree and applied for the TupuToa Cadetship Programme.

“What really attracted me to the program was that you get guaranteed full time paid work for at least six months. I was also fortunate that the company I was a cadet with, Dentsu, offered me a permanent role, and I’m still with them now.

“From the time I reached out to TupuToa, and them putting me onto Dentsu – was literally just two weeks! And then I made the big move to Auckland. That was just over a year ago now.”

Te Rina’s cadetship was in the media team at Dentsu, doing marketing. But while working in that role, she kept being pulled into HR related work – something she loved and felt was her true calling. When an opportunity arose in the HR team, she grabbed it.

“When I was at university, I had done a few HR papers and really enjoyed them. I wanted to major in HR as well, but it would have been too expensive to add another major to my studies, so I didn’t take it up then. Through my work, I have been able to build my knowledge and experience, and am absolutely loving it.

“I love talking to people and helping people. I’m always doing the HR inductions, and interview calls for people for roles that we have. I like that our staff feel they can come to us and we can help with their issues and try and find solutions for them.”

Te Rina credits TupuToa’s strong grounding in culture as a unique asset.

“I’ve never come across an organisation before that encourages people to own their culture with pride, be more involved and active, and supports us in bringing our culture into our workplaces.

“For our cadetship graduation, TupuToa took us on a waka. Many of us had never been on one! They also organise learning opportunities for us, for example we’ve learnt waiata and about Matariki – and these were all lessons we could take into our workplaces.”

This is an important personal journey for Te Rina, who is learning Te Reo and trying to connect with her marae.

As for her current workplace, Dentsu, Te Rina says that when she joined the company, there weren’t many Māori working there, but “I saw that as an opportunity”. She is a member of Dentsu’s Diversity and Inclusion Council, which looks at ways to bring more diversity, equity inclusion into the company.

“Everyone’s very open minded about it, everyone’s willing to learn. I think the biggest thing is we accept that there is need for work, and there is the willingness to do the work.”

Looking back on her journey so far, Te Rina says if she could do things differently, she’d probably seek a mentor from the start, and look at being more active as part of a network of cadets.

As for the future, Te Rina is looking forward to learning and growing.

“I’m still learning and I’ve still got a lot to learn. I’d like to develop more confidence in the role I’m in, and learn to do the type of work my manager does. The higher up you go the more strategic the work becomes and I’m looking forward to getting involved in that.

“On the person level, I would love to incorporate more of my culture into my work. I also want to become fluent in Te Reo. None of my nan’s grandchildren can speak fluently. She’s getting old now and I want to be able to speak to her in Te Reo while she’s still around. I think that will make her really proud.”

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