Graduate Policy Officer Recruitment

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Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade recruits graduates every year - check out our video on what we do and how to apply.

Apply for Graduate Policy Officer Roles

Applications for our Graduate Policy Officer intake open Monday 12 July 2021.

If you are looking to start work from November 2021 or February 2022 - this is the recruitment round to apply for!

We've been busy chatting with students across New Zealand, and will be running a few more events throughout July. If you're keen to learn more about this opportunity, sign up for job alerts(external link) and we'll email you our event dates and notify you when applications open.

Keep an eye on this page for more details coming soon.....  


Think you might need a hand with some of the assessment components?

Let us know — we're here to help!

Who are we looking for?

We don’t take a cookie cutter approach to our graduate recruitment. The nature of our work is broad-ranging, so we’re looking for graduates with a range of skills, experiences and backgrounds. Diversity of thought is key.

We’re looking for graduates who are curious about global challenges and other cultures — people who want to help make positive changes for New Zealand. Naturally, you’ll have an interest in the work we do, and because relationships are at the heart of it all, you’ll enjoy working with people.

Minimum requirements

Criteria More details
Hold New Zealand citizenship Or have submitted an application for New Zealand Citizenship with The Department of Internal Affairs (DIA)
Able to obtain and maintain an appropriate security clearance Security clearance requirements
Have completed a minimum of a bachelor’s level qualification by February 2022 Our foreign policy officers have a wide variety of degrees, e.g nursing, law, commerce, science, marketing, veterinary science
At least 3 months’ work experience during (or following on from) your studies  Any type of work experience: part time/full time, internships, hospitality, retail, office work, etc
A willingness to be posted overseas and travel for work Travel is a key part of the role, however you will be initially based in Wellington headquarters

In addition to the above, we're looking for people who have SOME of the following skills or experience.

Experience/skill Example
Leadership experience School prefect, head of university student club/association youth leader, community initiatives, religious or cultural groups, workplace etc
Volunteer experience Ongoing or significant one-off volunteer work e.g. Community, youth groups, aid work, coaching, religious or cultural groups
Academic excellence Outstanding academic achievement demonstrated by: excellent grades, or a tertiary academic award or scholarship, or further postgraduate studies
Languages Te Reo Māori at an intermediate level or above, or another language at an advanced level/work proficiency; e.g. Pacific languages, North Asian languages, Arabic, etc.
Cross Cultural Skills Understanding, experience and ability to engage effectively with Pacific, Pasifika or Māori communities. The ability to move between cultures.
Mātauranga Māori Strong skills, perspectives and knowledge from the Māori world, including Māori culture and the Treaty of Waitangi

Myth busters — graduate requirements

Get the right information before you apply. Here are some myths about our student graduate requirements.

Do I need a double degree or post graduate qualification to be eligible?

Our minimum requirement is now a bachelor’s level qualification. If you become a MFAT graduate, and you’re keen to do further study down the track, we can explore this with you.

Are only those with law degrees considered?

We're keen to see different skills from a mix of academic backgrounds, so, as long as you have a genuine interest in the work we do, we’ll consider any bachelor’s degree.

Do I need to be an A+ student?

This is not the case — in fact we don’t have a minimum grade requirement. We’re looking for people with a balance of academic achievement and great people skills. For example, we value the skills that your experience in moving between different cultures can bring, as well as any volunteer or leadership experience you may have.

Do I need to speak another language?

It’s an advantage if you have language skills from a country where MFAT has a presence; you might even speak Te Reo or a Pacific language at home, but it’s not compulsory. Opportunities are available if you’re interested in learning another language.

Got some questions?

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