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My Work Profile: Senior Procurement Specialist

While wiring is the focal point of my interests, I also hold down a day job. I’m a Senior Procurement Specialist working for the New Zealand Ministry of Education (MOE).

This week, MOE profiled me on their intranet page. Here’s the profile.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

The first thing people notice is my accent. Then, when I say I’m from West Virginia, the conversation always (ALWAYS) turns to John Denver’s song “Country Roads”. I’m okay with that. But some people carry it a step further and sing the chorus back to me. It gets awkward. Just saying.

Aside from my charming, yet semi-unintelligible accent—I’m a Senior Procurement Specialist and an award-winning author of science fiction and fantasy. Recently, I've been a finalist in the Writers of the Future Contest (2020) and Semi-Finalist (2021), I was the third-place winner in the Mike Resnick Memorial Short Story Competition (2021), and my story Echoes of Gliese will be published by Galaxy Press Magazine in March 2022. I’m currently working on three novels and a handful of short stories. Here’s link to my website: https://christopherhenckel.wixsite.com/my-site

When did you join the Ministry and what did you do before working at the Ministry?

I joined the Ministry’s Procurement Team in October 2019, but I’ve worked for various Govt agencies over the last 13 years. Prior to that I’ve worked with glass, I've been ditch digger, a ski tech, and a ninja. (Well, maybe not a ninja.)

If you could write your own job title that best describes what you do here, what would it be?

Wanted: one who is skilled in the dark arts of procurement. Must be a creative, solutions-focused, and a problem solver.

What do you enjoy doing when you are not working?

I love writing and hiking. For me, writing is like enjoying a favorite movie, except I don’t have to leave after two hours. I can stay as long as I want and change the world however I want—my own customized paradise. I love hiking because it’s my alone time. As an introvert, I really really value my alone time.

What are you currently working on now?

My procurements mainly focus on “making kids smarter”: NCEA, Literacy, numeracy, resources for teacher, programmes for students.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to get into the type of work you’re currently undertaking?

I’d support the decision. The job isn’t baguettes and bunnies, but it ain’t that bad either.

Quickfire: What’s your favorite…?

  • Food: Burritos and energy drinks

  • Music/Song: Nightwish, Zakk Wylde, Anaria, Motley Crue, Steve Earl

  • Outfit: I wear whatever my partner buys for me from the Op shop


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