Welcome to the next in our series about St. Pierre’s assistant managers!
Today we’re in Hawke’s Bay wine country, in Napier, to visit a young lady called Hirono in the Bento Bowl department. Hirono is from Japan, with her hometown near Japan’s ancient imperial capital of Kyōto. The story of how she came to be 2IC at Napier involves some happy accidents – but we’re very glad she’s here!
Hirono came to NZ in 2019. Her plan was simple: to study at an English school in the Hawke’s Bay for three months, work flat out for seven months, and then travel around NZ for the remaining two months of her one-year working holiday visa.
“But then, while working at St. Pierre’s Napier, I met my partner and fell in love. Suddenly, all I wanted to do was stay here.”
Hirono worked for the rest of her working holiday, but then the only option was a temporary visa, which did not allow work. Sadly, she had to leave the company. After long months of waiting, she obtained a partnership work visa, and was welcomed back to St. Pierre’s Napier in February 2021. Takashi and Julie were clearly happy, because in four short months she was promoted to assistant manager!
“Becoming an assistant manager has been hard. The responsibility is different to being a crew member, and I do feel pressure. There is so much to remember, I sometimes panic a little. But we have a great team in Napier and they always help me through any problems!”
While very happy to be living in NZ, Hirono has set herself high goals.
“I’m trying to save as much as possible for my residence visa application. It’s expensive, but worth it. I love the relaxed lifestyle and tolerant atmosphere in NZ. My partner and I really want to stay here as NZ permits same-sex marriage and supports IVF treatment so we can start a family. I’m really excited to be building a future in NZ.”
Life has taken Hirono in unexpected directions, but at St. Pierre’s, we’re proud to have amazing people like her on our team. We have a strong culture of being “people first”, supporting each other as we set challenging goals. Hirono has already achieved a lot, and we’re sure she will continue to reach new heights! Here’s to everyone across the St. Pierre’s Group aiming high!