Kea Member Profile: Fiona Haiko, Japan

Fiona HaikoWhere are you from and what is your background?
I’m from Cambridge in the Waikato, but most recently lived in Wellington. I’ve also spent just over eight years in Japan.

Why did you leave New Zealand?
I’ve had a long relationship with Japan and have lived here on and off for 8 years. It’s been a combination of work and study, but the most recent departure was for my current role with ENZ.

Tell us about your role with Education NZ?
I am Education New Zealand’s Senior Market Development Manager in Japan. I am based in the New Zealand Embassy in Tokyo and am responsible for ENZ’s work throughout Japan.

I organise and attend events promoting New Zealand’s education offering. This includes presenting to potential international students, their parents, boards of education and agents.

I also develop and maintain relationships with agents, schools and universities and also with Japanese government representatives to further New Zealand’s’ international education objectives.

One of the big tasks is ensuring that New Zealand institutions are aware of what is happening in terms of education in Japan and what the Japanese market is seeking in terms of education opportunities.

Describe your life-style in Japan
It’s not particularly glamourous! I enjoy spending time with my family and finding the quiet spaces in Japan. We have a young daughter so parks and walks are a big part of our life.

On a personal level, what motivates you?
Believing in what I do. As a student at both high school and university I spent time studying overseas and really believe that it has helped me to develop the career I have, as well as a broader perspective in general. New Zealand has opportunities for all sorts of students and sharing this is something that resonates for me.

What are your goals?
In terms of Education New Zealand in Japan, there is significant change happening in Japan at the moment. There’s a real focus on internationalization and developing globally capable citizens. There is huge opportunity for New Zealand as an education destination. Growing awareness of New Zealand’s offering and growing the numbers of Japanese students studying in New Zealand is my priority.

At a personal level, I’m new in the role (I have only been here since May) and would like to achieve a lot while in this role. In terms of career aspirations, I’m doing what I always set out to do – working for NZ’s interests in Japan.However, I think I will always be looking for the next step and next challenge.