Nga Thanh Nguyen, preferred name Bo, studied at NZMA around 2009/2010 in Hospitality Management. He learnt his hands-on skills through the NZMA Hospitality management programme Levels 4 and 5.

His career journey started in various front of house roles where he met his current business partners.  Together they opened SEN in September 2015, and it’s become a well-known and reviewed restaurant in Mount Eden.

Needing new staff, Bo recently contacted NZMA to find a part-time bar operator. “Back in the day [NZMA] would hold career meetings where you’d bring your CV, but there wasn’t much work without experience,” he told Restaurant and Café. Through NZMA’s Careers Team Lead, Sam Rasheed-Hiscoke, a search was undertaken and Jackie (Son Hai) was appointed.

“Sometimes all a student needs is a foot in the door. Jackie ticked all the boxes - great skills, fantastic attitude and a fun personality,” said Bo. “He was also a sharp dresser!”

Jackie had worked in Singapore and Malaysia before he decided to come to New Zealand to further his career.  “NZMA has helped me to get the skills I need to apply for better jobs,” he said. Jackie has just finished his Level 6 hospitality management programme and had previously worked at Alexandra Park as a supervisor.