Head Analyst, Vantage Black Sticks Men’s National Hockey Team, Hockey New Zealand
Postgraduate Diploma in Sport and Exercise student
Bachelor of Sport and Recreation
She loves her job, says sport and recreation alumna Julia Herbst who is now the head analyst for the Vantage Black Sticks men’s hockey team.
“What I enjoy most about this role is the opportunity to build an analysis framework at Hockey New Zealand, which has never been done before. I also like the challenges that face me on each tour we go on. I really like the diverse cultures we experience each time we’re away, and I enjoy working with a great team of management; all like-minded people who love what they do.”
She always knew she was meant to have a career in sport.
“I initially thought I would end up working in high performance sport physio, but then I found my passion for analysis and analysing performance in a sports setting when I took the paper Analysing Performance. Eventually this passion led me to my current role at Hockey New Zealand, after some very hard work put in on my end.”
Valuable practical experiences
Being able to get real-life practical experience as part of her studies was one of the things that attracted her to AUT, Julia says.
“I chose to study at AUT because of the hands-on practical experience I was told about at an information evening about the degree when I was still in secondary school. I loved how much workplace experience and real-life practical experience we got as part of the Bachelor of Sport and Recreation.
“I did a lot of work through North Harbour Rugby throughout my university studies, as well as the Vodafone Warriors, New Zealand Rugby 7s, North Harbour Hockey and The Blues. I learned very quickly how much work goes in behind the scenes of a professional sports team, and was privileged enough to work with these organisations first-hand to prepare me for my current role.”
As a postgraduate student she also enjoyed being able to share her passion for analysis with students at Shandong Sports University in Jinan, China, when she was invited to teach the paper Performance Analysis there in 2018.
An excellent learning environment
She would highly recommend AUT’s sport and recreation programmes to others, says Julia who is now studying a Postgraduate Diploma in Sport and Exercise in addition to working at Hockey New Zealand.
“I would definitely recommend the sport programmes. AUT has great lecturers, great university staff who can offer advice if you need it, great workplace experience as part of your studies and a great environment to study in.”
The people she met have been one of the highlights of Julia’s time at AUT.
“I’ve enjoyed meeting so many new and different kinds of people, from my fellow students – who I’m still friends with to this day – right through to mentors like senior lecturer Dr Kirsten Spencer. I also enjoy meeting current AUT sport and recreation students who are doing their workplace experience here with us at Hockey New Zealand.”