Gala Dinner 2019 Speeches: Caleb Poe, BNZ


Fakalofa Lahi Atu, Kia Mutolu oti

Koe higoa haaku ko Kalepa Tanielu Poe

Ko au koe fuata Niue mo Samoa

Fano au he aoga Aukalana University.

Moua e au fakamailoga tokoluga koe accounting mo finance

Gahua Haaku Mogonei Tanaki Tupe Ha Niu Silani

Farout! That was a tongue twister! Anyway, let’s get started. Three months ago I was a full time bartender at Everybody’s Bar in Fort Lane. I was serving corporate clients. I was in the space where I had recently graduated and thought to myself what I am going to do in life? And never would I have thought that I would be selected to work at the Bank of New Zealand, even better, in their finance department.

Who would have thought that I get to be one of those corporate clients enjoying a cheeky beverage after work? Today I want to share my experience at BNZ. When I first started at BNZ I felt a sense of discomfort. I questioned myself. Will I be good enough to thrive in this environment? Surprisingly, BNZ has one of the most accepting and welcoming work cultures. All my managers, co-workers and fellow interns were all extremely supportive and acceptive of who I was. I really took on this nature and used it to grow myself as a person.

I felt like my time spent at BNZ proved that they were more than just a bank, me and my fellow intern, Tepaki Hui, probably had the best time in Finance. We had the right balance of hard work, where we created reconciliations, we created reports and we parked and posted journals through SAP. We also had a good variety of extra circular activities. We attended the budget policy statement and wellbeing release with finance minister, Hon Grant Robertson. We had a community day at Orakei marae where we did a bit of gardening and learnt about our local horticulture. We even did a bit of boxing down at the basement of our building during lunch breaks. All these experiences during my internship has built myself up to the person I am today and it made me realise that the corporate world isn’t as scary as it seems, in fact, this is somewhere I can excel and grow.

Tuputoa’s role in my journey was that they taught me the sense of identity. That you should never change who you are in any situation, because who you are as a person is the value a company wants and the value you bring in any aspect in life. It’s much more than just excel skills and spreadsheets. I find that it’s about your values and attributes as a person. For me it was my smile, friendliness and open mindedness that I used to catch peoples eye.

Now I have been offered a role to stay in Finance, I have completed my internship knowing far more than what I have set out to achieve and I have demonstrated that anything is possible. I am worth it. I still aspire to be a qualified charted accountant, but somehow, I feel like I’m on my way. The saying goes: it takes a village to raise a child. My village is My family, my parents and now Tuputoa.

Fakaue Lahi kua fakanogonogo mai god bless


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