GoAbroad Interview

Sarah Cameron-Koh - Events Manager

Sarah Cameron-Koh - Events Manager

Sarah Cameron-Koh is Au Pair Link’s Events Manager. Originally from Auckland, where she studied tourism and business studies, she also lived in London for two years, where she made the most of her time exploring Europe, the United States, and Asia. In her role at Au Pair Link, Sarah organizes child and au pair events, au pair flight packages, and the orientation course. In her spare time she enjoys traveling, snowboarding, photography, and looking after animals.

You’re from Auckland, how did you get involved with Au Pair Link?

When I returned from my time in London, I went back to my previous employer but found it wasn’t challenging enough or aligning me in something I actually enjoyed. I also felt it was time to work for a company that truly makes a difference in people’s lives. So, with that in mind, I applied for an office manager role at Au Pair Link. A year later, I was promoted to events manager, where I think I have found my dream job.

Au Pair Link Staff Masquerade Boat Party in New Zealand

Au Pair Link Staff Masquerade Boat Party

You organize the au pair orientation, outings, and events, what does a typical day of work look like for you?

No day is ever the same for me, so being able to manage a variety of tasks in an accurate and timely manner is definitely a skill I have learned. A typical workload consists of taking RSVP’s from au pairs, liaising with suppliers and venues to book events, assisting au pairs with booking their flights, travel insurance, and visas, booking rooms and banquet orders for the orientation course, organizing fun staff activities, assisting the finance and placement team on general tasks, and of course answering the many emails that trickle into my inbox. It definitely makes the day whiz by!

What does every au pair orientation include?

The Au Pair Link orientation course is a great introduction to life as an au pair. When an au pair lands in Auckland they head straight to a nearby hotel to meet with our staff and fellow au pairs.  At the hotel, au pairs are provided with two nights accommodation and all meals. The course content over three days includes culture shock, nutrition and social behavior workshops, Te Whariki introduction, theoretical driving lessons, events and travel presentation, assistance with opening a bank account, tax, and contracts, a comprehensive child first aid course, and finally an optional tour around Auckland city. Our staff members are also there to answer any questions or concerns the au pair may have before they head to their new homes.

International au pairs on a walk in the Waitakere Ranges, New Zealand

Au pairs on a bush walk in the Waitakere Ranges

What kind of events and outings are available for au pairs and the children in their care?

There is an abundance of activities available to au pairs and children enrolled with Au Pair Link.  During the weekdays, au pairs on our Early Childhood Education program can attend free weekly playgroups with their children or come along to our monthly child outings; these include visits to the zoo, museum, playgrounds, swimming pools, gymnasiums, fire stations, farms, gardens, theatres, beaches...the list goes on! Then on the weekend, all au pairs are invited to participate in au pair only events, where they can make new friends and experience something the “Kiwi way”. Au pair events include BBQs, bowling, water sports, ice skating, forest walks, horse riding, high teas, rock climbing, movie nights, and weekend tours visiting amazing locations throughout New Zealand.

You believe having an au pair allows children to gain greater cultural awareness. Tell us more about how Au Pair Link makes this possible.

Yes, I believe having an au pair guides children to become more culturally aware and offers rewarding outcomes to a growing child’s personality. Having someone from another country in your house, sharing their traditions, language, and views on the world, encourages social bonds and knowledge of the world outside of little New Zealand.

Why should someone choose Au Pair Link over other placement organizations in New Zealand?

Au Pair Link is the largest au pair agency in New Zealand, and the first to become licensed as a home-based early childhood education provider. That means we have the most experience in the industry and are dedicated to providing the highest level of service. Au Pair Link has extensive screening processes that every au pair and host parent must go through before they are accepted on our program. This encourages successful placements and a very low number of rematches. We also align ourselves to well-known international partners and New Zealand suppliers so we can be confident our service will always be the best.

Countryside in New Zealand

New Zealand’s rolling countryside

You’ve traveled the world, what makes New Zealand such a special place?

For me, living away from New Zealand made me appreciate what I have on my doorstep. From the beautiful fauna and flora, to the coastline, laidback lifestyle, and diversity of our cities, it truly is a unique country to live in. There are not many places in the world where you can own a standalone house with a large backyard, drive 30 minutes to your closest beach, or drive four hours in another direction to a snow covered mountain, ferry to a winery, bungy jump off a bridge, or just relax with a tasty New Zealand wine in your hand!

What has been your biggest achievement during your time with Au Pair Link?

I think my biggest achievement was actually my promotion to become events manager in the first place. Having a new role tailored to you by the company’s directors was a proud moment and a step in the right direction for me, aligning well to my strengths and where I want more experience. Although I have not studied event management, previous jobs and personal life experience has built the path toward this and I am excited what the future might bring.

What is the best part about working for Au Pair Link?

Our culture! We have one of the best working environments I have ever experienced. Each person at Au Pair Link loves what they do, and enjoys having a laugh along the way. We all work extremely hard, so having an environment where your dedication is appreciated by fellow staff, as well as managers, makes it a valuable place to work. As part of my role I also encourage good staff moral and organize monthly activities so we can get to know one another outside of the office, building long-lasting friendships. 

View of Mt Ruapehu in New Zealand

Mt Ruapehu where Sarah enjoys snowboarding