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Jenna Serfontein

Senior Procurement Specialist

Jenna is one of our Senior Procurement Specialists. She admits she stumbled across a career in Procurement but now loves the excitement and challenge working on a big project brings. Find out more about the interesting projects she works on and why she celebrates her birthday six months after the actual day. 

What do you do as a Senior Procurement Specialist at the airport? The Procurement team is responsible for ensuring Christchurch Airport is getting value from its suppliers across the business. My role involves helping various teams to identify requirements, run tender processes, negotiate and award contracts, and manage their supply base.

What do you love most about your job? Given the nature of the airport operations, the Procurement team is able to work with every part of the business. We are involved in everything from purchasing office consumables to sourcing construction contractors and consultants for our campus developments. It’s a varied role and no two projects are the same. Plus, I get to use Excel almost every day, which is a bonus for me!

What’s been the most interesting project you’ve worked on at Christchurch Airport? The larger airfield and terminal projects are definitely the most exciting. Recently I’ve been involved in procuring contractors and consultants for the new red quarantine pathway, as well as airfield pavement maintenance work.

How did you get into procurement as a career? I studied a Bachelor of Commerce, majoring in international business and commercial law. Like most graduates, I applied for any and every job that sounded vaguely relevant to my degree. I was fortunate to be offered a role in the Procurement team at the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority and then Ōtākaro Limited, both of which were responsible for delivering a number of the anchor projects in central Christchurch.

Favourite airport initiative? I am constantly in awe of how our team has responded to the impacts of COVID-19. I had only been working at the airport six months before New Zealand moved to Alert Level 4 so it’s been pretty incredible to witness how the business has managed the ups and downs of the past year. Coordinating repatriation flights, dealing with the constantly evolving health requirements, and creating new arrivals pathways have all become a part of the normal course of business - an incredible amount of work goes into making it all happen behind the scenes!

Most exciting moment on the job? Watching the first flight from Australia land on 19 April after the trans-Tasman bubble opened. The atmosphere on campus across the whole day was amazing and I was able to welcome my sister home from Sydney a few days later!

Most memorable flying experience? Seeing the Grand Canyon from above on a flight from New Orleans to Las Vegas. I spent the whole time rudely leaning over the person in the window seat, but it made the budget airline experience much more bearable and was significantly cheaper than a helicopter ride!

Tell us one thing that most people wouldn’t know about you? Unfortunately (for my parents), I was born on Christmas Day. So up until recently I celebrated my birthday in June.

What are you happiest doing when you’re not working? Travelling. Or just being at home with my sausage dog Pablo and my boyfriend. From one extreme to the other!

Go-to South Island spot? I grew up in Nelson, so I’m heavily biased towards the top of the south. My favourite spots are Cable Bay, Māpua, and Upper Moutere.