Upskills Programme Administrator Elaine Rio came to New Zealand for her nephew’s birthday in February last year – and ended up staying! Impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, Elaine found herself in Aotearoa for much longer than expected. But the Phillipines’ loss is Upskills’ gain – and Elaine is now five months into her role as programme administrator on the team.
Elaine loves the variety of the role and says from one day to the next it can be completely different.
“I enjoy learning different types of things I haven’t done – from IT to helping with marketing and booking venues. It keeps me learning and that’s the best part of it, along with the people at Upskills.”
Elaine came to Upskills from a background working in academic registry for larger training providers. She is enjoying the mix of administration along with more learner contact.
“One of my highlights was the graduations at Solo Plastics and Smartfoods. Because that is where you hear the heartwarming and uplifting stories from the learnings. Hearing those stories is a standout,” says Elaine.
Elaine is from the city of Manila in the Philippines and she has some inside tips on Filipino cuisine (which is the flavour of the moment). The place to go is Boracay on Auckland’s viaduct harbour, you heard it first here! Elaine describes Filipino food as not particularly exotic but with a predominance of sweet flavours: ‘even our pasta is sweet’ with a range of dishes inspired by China, Malaysia and Spain. Filipinos have a close family-orientated culture, says Elaine. “We love singing and dancing and a lot of Filipinos love to cook as well. You can get homemade food here but Mom’s cooking is still the best!