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Meet Ceryse

“Learn your strengths and build on those to find what you want to do in your future”

Meet Ceryse – Case Manager at Ministry of Social Development

Ceryse thought she had to go to university when she left school but quickly discovered that wasn’t for her. Although she’s now in a new career she loves at the Ministry of Social Development (MSD), it wasn’t a straight path to get there.

After high school, Ceryse shopped around and did a lot of community work and it soon became clear that being in the community realm and helping people was the right fit for her.

Still, Ceryse didn’t discover this immediately. She started working in events, which came to a standstill due to COVID, and for a while she struggled to find a fulltime job. In October 2021, she came across the Trailblazers Internship through the Selwyn District Council which enabled her to gain valuable work experience within local government. During her internship, the MSD presented to the interns about support they could offer them which gave her insight into which direction she wanted her career to go.


I really connected with what the MSD said and the work they do sparked my interest. So I put a job alert on for Ministry of Social Development and applied when I saw a case manager role come up”

“I really connected with what the MSD said and the work they do sparked my interest. So I put a job alert on for Ministry of Social Development and applied when I saw a case manager role come up”

Not only did the internship introduce her to options that suited her skills and qualities, it was valuable for networking skills and learning about the structure of local and central government.

There were also a number of support networks that gave Ceryse great insight into people and diverse groups. The Pacific Youth Leadership and Transformation Council (P.Y.L.A.T) run civic youth events which built on her passion for community work, and with the Nawawi Centre, she learned more about the Muslim community.

Through everyday life and her community work, Ceryse developed a portfolio of transferable skills that fitted perfectly with her role as a case manager. In particular, communication and empathy.

I really want to help young Pacifika people and see them thrive here in New Zealand and take all the opportunities that they can. My experience working in different communities has developed important skills and given me the confidence to do this”

“I really want to help young Pacifika people and see them thrive here in New Zealand and take all the opportunities that they can. My experience working in different communities has developed important skills and given me the confidence to do this”

Ceryse’s career change was not always obvious, but she believes she took the right path. Everyone’s career journey is their own, she says, and it might not go the way you expect.

Ceryse’s Message for Women

"My advice to other woman facing a career change is to use support networks and try new things. Learn your strengths and build on those to find what you want to do in your future”.

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