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Taufiq Asad – a different world

Posted on 20/08/2012 by

Taufiq Asad moved from Afghanistan to New Zealand with his family in 2004.

“I had no idea where I was going,” he says. “I just got on the plane with my family. I remember my sister telling me we were going to New Zealand, which was at the end of the world!”

“We landed in New Zealand and came out of the airport and I saw a different world… so clean and beautiful. I loved the fresh air.”

The family started to settle into their new country, a process that Taufiq describes as being “like a newborn baby” because of the incredible difference between living in a war-torn country like Afghanistan and a peaceful country like New Zealand.

It was also the first time he and his sister had seen their father for eight years: “It was the best feeling ever,” he says.

Taufiq briefly attended Western Springs College before the family moved to Mt Roskill and he began attending Mt Roskill Grammar, which seemed to him to be “the biggest school ever!”

The transition to an English-speaking school was difficult: “I spoke very little English and understood little as well. I was like a small fish in an ocean – I felt lost for months,” he says.
“But then slowly things started to change for me, as I met new people and made friends with them. My teachers spent a lot of time and effort teaching me English, and I spent every night learning English for the next day so it could help reduce my problems in school.”

Taufiq worked hard at his studies and his effort paid off when he received a certificate at the end of his first year for being the second highest achieving student in his class.

“I was very proud of myself,” he says, “and so were my parents.”

Taufiq continued to work hard “step by step, year by year” until he graduated from high school.

He knew he wanted to work in the travel industry, but was unsure what path to take. One fortuitous day he opened his mailbox to find an ITC information booklet.

“I discussed it with my father and he supported me and told me I should go check it out and see what they could offer.”

Taufiq met with Lesley Brough, who talked him through all the course options and requirements.

Taufiq chose to study aviation, as he was interested in working at airports and travel agencies. He began the six-month course in June 2011.

“During those six months I met a lot of beautiful people, including my awesome teachers,” he says. “I don’t have the words to describe them, but they changed my life and helped me get to where I wanted. I don’t think I will ever be able to repay what they did for me.”

After graduating from ITC Taufiq experience the frustrations of trying to find a job. He was working at a café, but knew that wasn’t what he ultimately wanted to do.

Impressed by the hardworking student who showed such gratitude to his teachers and the college, ITC’s account manager Ceri Jenkins helped Taufiq to get a job interview at Jucy Rentals.

“Ceri was always there for me and helped me a lot,” says Taufiq. 

After a successful interview Taufiq was offered a job in April 2012.

“Jucy is a great place to work,” he says. “The people here are friendly and helpful and I’m happy to be part of the Jucy team.”

With his usual hardworking attitude Taufiq says he does his best every single day at work and his manager is happy with him.

“We have busy days and quiet days but that’s part of the business,” he says. “On quiet days I help the groomers and wash cars with them, which I’m very good at! The staff here appreciates what I do for them, including outside working hours.”

While Taufiq enjoys his work at Jucy he still hopes to work for one of the airlines or at the airport. With his attitude and his willingness to go the extra mile there’s no reason to think he won’t achieve his dream.

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