student success story

SEO Specialist Tama – on track to becoming a Senior SEO Expert.

SEO specialist to SEO Expert

Tamarua Payne

Diploma in Digital Marketing Graduate

From SEO intern to SEO Specialist.

Tama joined NZIE’s Digital Marketing Diploma in July 2020. Bringing with him no expectations of just how quickly this course would transform his career opportunities. As he was completing his last assignments Tama started exploring potential career pathways.

Upon looking into different roles, with the support of our Client Success Team, an exciting opening presented itself! NZIE’s industry partners Firefly Digital wanted to trial NZIE some Digital Marketing interns.

Having heard a lot about this amazing agency Tama and classmate Sanjana jumped at the opportunity to gain agency experience. Fast forward 3 months and they were offered permanent full-time SEO specialist roles! Almost a year on young, ambitious, graduate Tama is on track to becoming a Senior SEO Expert!

Introducing Tamarua Payne

My name is Tama and I currently work as an SEO Specialist at Firefly Digital. A performance marketing agency based in the heart of Parnell, in Auckland city.

If you’re curious to learn more about Firefly Digital you can read up on our interview with COO Adrian Yap here. To summarise, Firefly is an award-winning digital marketing agency, with some amazing achievements as below:

  • #1 fastest growing technology company in New Zealand on the Deloitte fast 500
  • #29 fastest growing company in New Zealand on Deloitte fast 50
  • Best Emerging Business for the Westpac Business Awards
  • Best overall SEM initiative for small business globally for the Landy Awards

See Tama's adapted video transcript below: 

Since upskilling with NZIE I have been with Firefly Digital for the past 8-9 months now. I 100% would recommend NZIE! I think one thing that really stood out for me personally, having studied at the University of Auckland previously… Was just the key attention NZIE took with their students.

Personalised care and support:

  • Right from the initial outreach
  • To me being interested in doing the course
  • Through to the induction and orientation
  • Plus the overall day-to-day care that went into the students’ well-being.

I think it was really cool. Furthermore, I thought the curriculum really covered the digital space well. From front to back, you know. Starting off with the strategy and then, later on, moving to more technical components. Such as digital design and data analytics.

Industry connections & exposure

Building that industry connection, and getting to meet other industry leaders, while studying with NZIE was really cool. You get an insight before joining the industry and see what the work would be like. Including what employees are looking for.

“I think the most valuable thing that I picked up from NZIE was getting to meet people in the industry. And being able to build those connections. Which I think was really cool.”

Also, a lot of the guys that I studied with, we keep in touch with regular meetups. And it’s nice to hear what’s going on across the industry at different agencies.

Adding value through my internship experience landed me a specialist role

My internship opportunity with Firefly came through NZIE. At the time I was in discussion with Jana (Client Success Advisor) about potential career pathways. From there, I had a meeting and sat down to discuss possible avenues. In fact, Firefly was one of them and it was a company that I’d heard a lot about. Therefore, I was very excited about the potential to intern with them.

So yeah, I guess it just happened to be that I added value to the business.

“Firefly was in a stage of growth and so there was an opportunity to bring me on board. I was very happy when they offered me the employment contract to become a permanent SEO Specialist.”

SEO specialist Tama working at Firefly Digital
Pictured from left to right: Tamarua Payne, Adrian Yap and Sanjana Anop

Short-term SEO Expert goals

I have a goal to continue specialising in SEO and to become an expert in this field. It is definitely one of my short-term goals in the next two years, to work my way up to senior level.

“I am very glad that I did decide to make that decision and join NZIE in July of 2020.”

Shout out to Rajika, Steve, Emily, Jana, Cleo the whole team! You guys were really awesome, thank you so much.

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Entry Criteria:

To be admitted into NZ Certificate in English Language Level 4 General, all applicants must meet the following requirements:

a) Be a speaker of English as an additional language; and

b) Hold a NZCEL Applied Level 3 [3667] qualification; or

c) Pass an NZIE entry test that meets the requirements for the CEFR B2 requirements or equivalent; and

d) Be of a minimum age of 16 years or older; and.

e) Be a New Zealand citizenship or permanent residency OR Certificate of Refugee Status and evidence of eligibility to study for the duration of enrolment.

Entry Criteria:

To be admitted into NZ Certificate in English Language Level 3 General, all applicants must meet the following requirements:

a) Be a speaker of English as an additional language; and

b) Hold a NZCEL Level 2 qualification; or

c) Pass an NZIE entry test that meets the requirements for the CEFR mid B1 requirements or equivalent; and

d) Be of a minimum age of 16 years or older; and.

e) Be a New Zealand citizen or resident; or have Certificate of Refugee Status and evidence of eligibility to study for the duration of enrolment.

Fees 2020

Student loans available through Study Link. Check if you are eligible here. 

Fees-Free Study.  

You are only eligible for Fees-Free if you haven’t previously undertaken more than 60 credits (half a year of equivalent full-time tertiary education, 0.5 EFTS) at Level 3 or above on the NZQF – New Zealand Qualifications Framework.

To check if you meet the requirements, visit the New Zealand Government’s Fees-Free website and enter your National Student Number (NSN)

If you do not have an NSN, contact your Student Support Advisor.

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