We use cookies to ensure we give you the best experience of our website. By accepting, you agree to the use of cookies as described in our privacy policy.

Brody Nelson, founder of tech start up Parkable and employer of New Zealand graduates

Getting That Dream First Job in New Zealand

With its strong economy, work/life balance and friendly people, New Zealand is an attractive option for launching your career after you finish studying.

But what can you expect from a New Zealand workplace, and how do you land that first job after you graduate?

We spoke to Brody Nelson – the co-founder and technology director of Parkable, an international tech firm that has been described as “the Airbnb for parking”. As an employer in New Zealand, Brody told us what he personally looks for in a new hire, and what it’s like to work here.

Soft skills can be just as important as your qualification

For Brody, when you’re applying for a job, it’s just as important to show you’re a team player and can take coaching, as it is to have the right qualifications and set of skills.

“Employers are looking for students who are adaptable and can think on their feet.”

“We can probably teach you a lot of the specific skills you might need once you join the company. So when we’re hiring, we’re looking for the things you can’t teach,” Brody says.  

“Is this person coachable? Can they work as part of a team? Will they take the initiative and think for themselves?”

Brody recommends graduates take the time to work out how your skills and education might meet New Zealand’s needs. 

“The tourism and IT sectors are very strong at the moment but there are heaps of opportunities out there. I’d recommend taking a look at the Skills Shortage Checker on the New Zealand Immigration website to find out where the gaps are and how you might help plug them.”

Work/life balance is important in New Zealand

For many job seekers, work/life balance is just as important as a healthy salary and promising career paths. The good news, according to Brody, is that work/life balance is pretty important to most New Zealand employers as well. 

“Kiwis place a lot of importance on making sure you don’t spend all day, every day in the office.”

“We live in a pretty amazing part of the world, so people like to get out and enjoy the outdoors, and spend plenty of time with friends and family.

“In my organisation, we work 40 hours a week and we’re pretty strict about making sure our employees don’t work any longer than that. Occasionally there might be a deadline you just have to meet but we like our people to keep to an eight-hour day when they can.”

Post-study work visas and internships can help you move into the workforce

Most international students who study in New Zealand are eligible for a post-study work visa. You can apply for this visa as soon as you successfully complete your qualification, and it lets you work in New Zealand for almost any employer for up to three years after you graduate.

Brody says internships are a great way to transition from study to work.

“We have an internship programme for interns who might be studying or graduates who have finished studying to come and work for us for a few months. I’m in the tech sector but that sort of arrangement is fairly common in other New Zealand industry sectors.”

International students sometimes worry about their English language skills and whether they’ll be fluent enough to work in New Zealand. Brody says each industry will have different expectations around English language ability but that working here is a great way to polish your language skills.

“New Zealand is also a welcoming and friendly place to learn English. It helps if you know the industry-specific language.”

Start your education journey today
Find your study match
Brody Nelson Study in New Zealand blog

By Brody NelsonEmployer

Updated 1 year ago

Brody Nelson is the co-founder and technology director of Parkable, an international tech firm that has been described as “the Airbnb for parking”.

*Views expressed are the blogger's own
Share this article

Keep in touch. Don't miss out on the latest posts.

Subscribe to Blog

Stay in touch

For personalised tips and tools for studying in New Zealand.

Please complete all of the fields below.

Please enter a valid email address.

Please enter a first name.

Please enter a last name.

Please select a country.

Please select a valid date (MM/YYYY).

this includes the existence, status and outcome of any visa application I submit, for use in accordance with, and for the purposes set out in, Education New Zealand’s Privacy Policy which I have read and understood. The results Education New Zealand receives may also include visa decisions pre/post the student visa application (such as a work visa post study). This will enable us to provide a more personalised digital experience and undertake research and analytical studies associated with our functions.

You can unsubscribe at any time By submitting this form I agree to Education New Zealand Privacy Policy, and to receive updates and marketing communications about their services, promotions, special offers, new and events.

Thanks for subscribing

Tohu icon

Kia ora! Get answers to your questions about studying in New Zealand

Learn More