Top Business School scholars celebrated

Top Business Scholars 2016

What was once the career ladder has now morphed into the jungle gym, with automation predicted to hit 44% of jobs in the next 10 years.

Today’s teenager could potentially have a career spanning 17 jobs across five different sectors.

At an event recognising the AUT Business School’s top scholars, AUT business graduates Tahana Tippett and Bridget Dawson discussed how they were managing the professional scramble since leaving university.

Bridget, who works as a Corporate Relationship Manager at Barnardo's in London, says growing up in Kaitaia gave her an appreciation for the need to increase the value and opportunities of people who come from the most disadvantaged and vulnerable areas.

“For me, my work since then, both extra-curricular and through my career has been to focus on that.”

A couple of months spent travelling after completing her Master of Business gave Bridget an appreciation for learning from different cultures. Heading off to London was not only a chance for more travel but to also gain valuable experience in substantially bigger institutions – Barnado’s is one of the United Kingdom’s largest charities – and engage with wider cultural diversity than is on the streets of Auckland.

“My world view has changed and I’m stimulated and encouraged in ways that I will bring with me when I come back to New Zealand."

A more recent graduate, Tahana, who completed a Bachelor of Business with honours in entrepreneurship, innovation and management last year, needed to make a choice between a professional rugby career, further study and a corporate role. Tahana says he drew on the advice of mentors in rugby, business and at AUT to guide him to the right decision, but ultimately his career choice was driven by ideals rather than what his pay packet might look like.

After time on ASB’s graduate programme Tahana moved to his current role at financial advisory firm JMIS Investments earlier this year. Tahana says he was inspired by the values of his new boss who emphasised how important it was to always do the right thing.

“I looked at everything and thought: what is best for me in the long term? What do I want to achieve? Once I evaluated everything, the current role I’m in really aligned with what I want to achieve the most, which was to make a positive impact on people’s lives,” says Tahana.

When he is not at his desk Tahana volunteers for Big Buddy, a not-for-profit organisation providing male mentors for fatherless boys.

Bridget says it is typical for the current generation of graduates to make career choices based on a need to change society for the better, rather than high salaries or job titles. Even though she doesn’t know where she needs to be in five years’ time to get to where she wants to be in 20 years’ time, she is focusing on making sure she has a toolkit of skills in order to continue to add value and affect change.

Change is something you need to be open to, says Tahana.  “Things change within a day. You’ve got to be open to anything and to be capable of adapting to new situations and new environments every day, because the world is changing rapidly and you’re always going to face new challenges.”

Dean of the Faculty of Business, Economics and Law, Kate Kearins, says the AUT Business School is proud to produce reflective practitioners who go on to make a positive change in the wider community.

A new Bachelor of Business, which is in the pipeline for 2019, will wholeheartedly embrace a social impact agenda and provide more interdisciplinary opportunities, as well as have a focus on peak educational experiences, she says.

“We are a school of business, not just a school for business. We will produce graduates who go on, as we have done, to make a difference in the world.”

List of winners

Last updated: 14-Jul-2017 11.30am

The information on this page was correct at time of publication. For a comprehensive overview of AUT qualifications, please refer to the Academic Calendar.