Pedro Romero's story
Pedro Romero had expected to be away for only a year, but his plans soon changed. "When I got here I thought, 'This place is so cool, it’s really nice'. So I wanted to stay longer."
At first Pedro found it challenging finding a job. "In the beginning my English was so poor. Like other migrants I had to work for a while before I could get a really good job and good pay.
"I was working in kitchens for around two months. This was the biggest improvement to my English. I was able to be around people and meet English speakers. To improve your English you need to immerse yourself in the English language - read, write, and live with Kiwis."
Besides improving his English, Pedro had a lot more to organise. "I had to get my CV translated using a translation service as it is very technical. I then sent out my CV to lots of companies. I think half of New Zealand has my CV. I sent a lot, a lot, a lot!
"I had to go to New Zealand Qualifications Authority. They check your skills, your work experience, your education, and they try to identify which level you are at in New Zealand. Then I could be more confident as I had a report saying what level of mechanical engineer I am."
After two months and a lot of hard work Pedro got a job as a draughtsman, which then led to a job as a mechanical engineer.
Even when he got a job, Pedro found things tough at the start. "The big challenge is to do what you were doing in another language. You may know how to do the work but the challenge is to talk with someone else and to explain something. After about eight months I found that I was working the way I used to.
"At first you can feel a bit alone. But every day it gets better. Then after a while you can call this place your home - well almost!” he laughs. “There will always be someone asking, ‘Where do you come from?’”
How Pedro got his job in New Zealand
- Worked as a draughtsman and then a mechanical engineer for eight years in Chile.
- Moved to New Zealand and got his CV translated.
- Took English classes and got a job in a kitchen to pay the bills and improve his English.
- Got his qualifications recognised by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority.
- Gave out his CV to companies until an opportunity came up.
- Got a job as a draughtsman which led to a job as a mechanical engineer.
Updated 22 Jul 2016