Alumni Stories

Catching up with... Charity Ibrahim

- Adviser Verification and Allocation, Directorate of the Ministry for Primary Industry New Zealand -

What have you been up to since graduating?
I graduated in August 2020 with a masters in IFBC. Immediately after graduating, I was fortunate to get a casual position in an organic certification company called BioGro New Zealand as the Database Transfer Administrator. It wasn’t what I envisioned after graduating but I knew I needed the work experience for a better position. Four months after that, the Quality Assurance Coordinator role was advertised internally to which I applied and got the role. After six months, I was called from one of the job applications I had submitted, did my interview, and was offered a position as an Adviser Verification and Allocation in the Mycoplasm bovis Directorate of the Ministry for Primary Industry New Zealand. I have been in that role for seven months now. New Zealand is an English-speaking country. English as our main medium of communication.

Any challenge that you face?
I would say learning how to have a positive attitude even in the face of disappointment and rejection. Most job applications I submitted were rejected but the most important thing is to choose not to give up. I kept applying for more.

How did you get your current position?
I was looking at the Ministry for Primary Industries website for jobs in the Food Safety Directorate. But I chose to broaden my scope of application to other directorates as well. My current job is in Biosecurity. I applied for the job like everyone, and I was called for an interview. I met with a lot of people that have experience and are already working in the public sector to help me prepare for my interview. I was offered the job after the interview.

What was your motivation for choosing that job?
My main motivation for applying for my current job was for career progression. I believe working in the public sector will give me more exposure and opportunities in the future. When I was applying for this job, I chose not to limit myself to just the food industry but to challenge myself to reach out to other aspects/areas of the workforce. Honestly, I was a bit skeptical when applying for my current position because I did not have any public sector experience or background in biosecurity. But when I read the job description, I knew it was something I could do with a bit of reading and training.

What experience do you take out of the IFBC programme?
The experience I took out of the IFBC programme has improved my skills in areas such as teamwork, task assigning, research, idea generation and development and adapting quickly to change especially in the workplace.  And, I can confidently say I feel well prepared for my job.

Did you have an idea where IFBC will lead you or was the content of the programme an eye opener to you?
I had some of ideas of what I wanted to do especially after reading the course content during my application, but I must say the experience from the programme was an eye opener for me.

What advice will you give to your 18-year-old-self?
I would tell my younger self to worry less and be confident in my strengths!