Joe Lolo

Joe Lolo

Case Manager, Ministry of Social Development
Bachelor of Arts in Education with a minor in English and New Media Studies

Te Rarawa, Ngāpuhi, Tongan

Education has been a passion since he finished school, says Joe Lolo who came to AUT to study a Bachelor of Arts in Education with a minor in English and New Media Studies.

“I believe every young learner deserves access to education and be able to fulfil their potential in this world. I wanted to pass on my knowledge and experience to future rangatahi, and chose to study a Bachelor of Arts in the hope of becoming a secondary teacher.

“I started my journey with AUT in 2016, after previously studying at other universities, and AUT surpassed my expectation in terms of the student experience and the practicalities of studying in modern interactive classrooms. Our lecturers inspired me to look at education not only in the view of teaching, but as experiential and long-life learning. That was one of the lightbulb moments for me.”

Now working as a case manager for the Ministry of Social Development, Joe loves sharing with his clients his passion for education and the new doors it can open.

“I love being able to support people in our community into employment or inspire them to upskill in the hope of developing a career. I enjoy seeing clients go into employment with a smile, and love being able to run seminars for youth to empower them into employment or career development.”

A sense of whānau
He had so many highlights throughout his time at AUT, Joe says.

“Some of the highpoints for me included the access to modern learning spaces, computers and interactive classrooms; joining different cultural groups, and the support we got from our lecturers and the Employability Lab. I’m proud to have been involved in workshops with the AUT Employability Lab, the AUT Edge Award, career expos and market days. Finally, I loved the mini food court – I was there almost every day and eating hot fries with butter chicken sauce.”

At AUT you feel a sense of whānau, he adds.

“I loved making friends from across the world who came to study at AUT as international students. Hearing about their experiences opened my mind to different perspectives.”

Advice for other students
Joe, who graduated from AUT in 2019, has some great advice for other students who are considering their university options.

“When you’re choosing where you want to study, it’s about much more than a name or a brand. Remember that it’s not the place where you study that defines you; it’s what you put into this place that matters. For me, AUT was a special place to study with bonds and connections that are irreplaceable. I’d go back to AUT in a heartbeat.”

His other piece of advice is to make the most of your time at university.

“If you’re going to study, go in 100%, take up the opportunities given and try something new. This is the time to start experimenting what you really want to achieve or pursue in life. Eat lots of good food, and remember to laugh and smile every day!”