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Reon Porter
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My first ever blog! This is a new experience for me, but I’m grateful for the chance to put into words how I got here, what I’m doing and why I’m so excited to be here in the HR Apprenticeship program.

Me, Before Nova

My first full-time job was as a bellman at the Wyndham Reef Resort in East End, which I’m still thankful for to this day. The opportunity gave me the start I needed, and I don’t think I’d be here if they weren’t as kind and supportive of me as they were. I worked my way up there in nearly every department until I eventually settled into an Administrator’s role in the Concierge Department, which I thoroughly enjoyed. Spending time talking to lovely people from so many different places and backgrounds, then finding the time to settle down and get my office work done suited me; I thought that a 50/50 split of socializing and cracking down at a computer was fulfilling. I still do.

…then COVID came.

It’s not necessary to go into detail on what those months were like because I’m sure everyone had a similarly unpleasant experience, or at least everyone is adjacent to someone who did. Needless to say, I was unemployed but wiser (or so I like to think), and the hospitality industry I thought I’d spend my career trying to develop expertise in didn’t appear as viable, at least in the short-medium term anymore.

The HR Apprenticeship: too good to be true?

As fate would have it, I came across an ad on LinkedIn a day or two before the deadline ran out. It seemed too good to be true, so much training across so many disciplines while being paid in a company that seemed as friendly as Disney wants you to believe it is? Not to mention, it had that 50/50 split of working with people and administrative work that I had come to enjoy.

I read it over and over again, trying to figure out what the catch was. My mother wouldn’t believe it was a real job when I talked to her about it; we weren’t sure I would get paid with all the training opportunities and benefits being offered.

I didn’t even think I was going to get considered, to be honest. The deadline was approaching, and the opportunity was the best I’d ever seen, especially for someone receiving ground up training, so I was sure every person in my age group on the island would be applying. After every interaction with the team, who I would now consider my friends, I wanted nothing more than to join this team. I did my research on the company, I practiced in the mirror using their own interview tips from the Nova website, I had to be a part of this. I had to. They were so friendly – willing to joke around even – I’d never been so disarmed in an interview in my life. I couldn’t even conceive of the idea that an interview could be anything other than stressful, let alone pleasant!

The Start of Something New: The HR Apprenticeship


I’ve learned so much from my new work family in these past few weeks, from ad writing to sourcing candidates, I can only imagine what else is to come on my HR Apprenticeship. I can use a few more systems and programs that I couldn’t last year, and now I know at least five times as much about immigration and hiring than I ever have, but what’s impacted me the most so far is the shift in perspective from being on the hiring side of the equation as a recruiter. That put many things into perspective that I’d never noticed when I was the one looking for work.

Now, I couldn’t even tell you what most excites me about the apprenticeship; last week, there was nothing I wanted more than to sit at home with a cup of cocoa and write ads all week, now I can’t wait to get on the phone and talk to clients and candidates, everything that’s been thrown at me has been new and exciting. I enjoy my work. This is an excellent company with passionate people looking to help people love their work and make the job searching process a little less harrowing. I couldn’t be prouder, more grateful, or happier to be given the opportunity to be a part of it.

I am Malique Richards, the newest HR Apprentice, and I approve of this message.


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