From:

Stockholm, Sweden

Job title:

Sales coordinator


Employer:

Spark Digital

Education:

Business certification

Moved to Christchurch:

August 2012

Sophie Westerlund
Why did you choose to move to Christchurch?

My Irish partner and I were living in Perth, Australia, when we heard about the employment opportunities coming about in Christchurch with the rebuild. My partner is an electrician and there were plenty of opportunities for both of us.

Also, we wanted to base ourselves in an English-speaking country with nice weather and affordable living – Christchurch could offer us this.

What does your company do?

Spark Digital delivers information and communications technology (ICT) solutions to businesses and government clients throughout New Zealand. It is New Zealand’s only end-to-end provider of ICT for business and delivers solutions that enable businesses to be better connected, operate with confidence, improve performance and realise opportunities.

What does your job involve?

As a sales coordinator, I support two sales managers and their teams of about 10 business solution specialists and four client managers. Each of them works closely with a range of business and government clients, helping them with their information technology and telecommunication needs.

I do things like reporting, organising travel, training and events for the sales teams, and diary management.

What do you enjoy about your job?

I get to support and work with a great bunch of really friendly people, both here in Christchurch and across other offices throughout New Zealand.

It’s a lively environment and every day is different.  I like that I get the opportunity to extend myself in new areas.

How do you see your career progressing?

I began on an eight-month contract and was lucky enough to be given a permanent role soon after.

Spark Digital is constantly evolving and it supports employees to learn and progress in their careers. It is a big company and I see a bright future for myself with it.

Tell us about your lifestyle in Christchurch:

Fun at work:
During lunchtimes, I go to a yoga class with a group from work. The café below our office is a great place to meet colleagues for a coffee or after-work drinks.

Fun outside of work:
My partner and I have done quite a bit of travelling around New Zealand – together and with visiting family and friends.

Driving around is easy and traffic is minimal. We have travelled all over the North and South Islands, but we particularly like the South Island. The scenery is amazing, there are so many beautiful wineries to visit, and we love the easy access to ski fields where we snowboard in winter.

In Christchurch, we spend quite a bit of time at Hagley Park, especially in the summertime to attend events, the evening theatre or festivals like the World Buskers Festival.

I also really enjoy going to the Sunday market at Riccarton Racecourse.

Family aspects:

We are far away from home and family, but I feel really settled here. I love our big house, which we rent, and I would hate to have to move and start again.

Life in Christchurch:

Life is easy and good here. I live just down the road from work and it is an easy walk.

The nightlife is forever improving since the rebuild and I am looking forward to checking out the new places that are opening up.

We are better off financially than when we lived in Australia. We have more money to travel and we love finding new and exciting places to visit throughout New Zealand.

When my family came to visit they could not believe the amazing food – how tasty it was, fresh, and easily accessible. For example, we usually only ate fish back home when dining out, but here in New Zealand you can get a really nice piece of fish at one of many fish and chip shops and it doesn’t cost much at all.