Stories about immigrant doctors driving taxis and immigrant engineers cleaning toilets abound.
Chathu Karunanayake was a lawyer in Sri Lanka. Now living in Palmerston North, she isn't seeking to practise law - she needs more qualifications for that, but she is looking for a job that matches her qualifications from Sri Lanka and IPU.
Karunanayake came to Palmerston North in October 2019 to study contemporary international studies at IPU, graduating a year later with a postgraduate diploma in the subject.
Karunanayake's husband Samith, who was also a lawyer in Sri Lanka, works at Tranzit Coachlines and their son Hasala, 10, attends Hokowhitu School.
She is the only Sri Lankan at the Palmy KFC store where she has worked part time since November. She says everyone is friendly and she has met wonderful people, both older and younger than her, but she would like a job where she can progress.
Since July, she's worked as a rehabilitation coach at Evolve Rehabilitation's community home in Roslyn, another job she enjoys.
She has an open work visa that expires in 2023.
The family were living in Sri Lanka when Islamist terrorist suicide bombers killed 267 people on Easter Sunday in 2019.
Ideally, the family would like to gain residency. Karunanayake says her son is settled here and enjoying school. "It's a good city to settle and a good country."
While living in Sri Lanka, the family travelled overseas extensively during each August court holiday.
In 2018, they visited New Zealand for three weeks exploring the North and South islands.
Karunanayake says she was keen to study in New Zealand as the culture and values are a little similar to Sri Lanka and it is a quiet, calm country. The United States and Australia, where her sister lives, are more fast moving.
She and her husband wanted to give Hasala a better future. New Zealand is a good country to raise their son with untouched natural beauty and friendly people. "It will be his future here, not ours."
To practise law in New Zealand, Karunanayake would need to study for then sit the bar exam, which is expensive.
She would like a job in administration, management, co-ordination, events or as a legal secretary.
She says her passion is talking to people, she loves working, is a quick learner with good listening and organisational skills, and is adaptable.
Sinhala is her mother language yet she has an impressive International English Language Testing System (IELTS) score of 7.5. Karunanayake says English is a compulsory subject in Sri Lanka and most of the country's law books are in English.
She has a Bachelor of Arts degree, majoring in political science and public policy, and a Bachelor of Law degree, both from Sri Lanka.
Her late father was a lawyer for 42 years and her father-in-law is also a lawyer.
Karunanayake has undertaken a range of voluntary jobs in Palmerston North, including co-ordinating this year's Red Cross street appeal, event co-ordinator with the Network for Skilled Migrants Manawatū, and doing office work for Brain Injury Central Districts.
As a refugee support volunteer, she is working with a family from Myanmar who arrived in June.
• Chathu Karunanayake can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org