Final-year student, Bachelor of Arts in Māori Development and Bachelor of Business in Market Insights: Marketing, Advertising, Retailing and Sales conjoint programme
Deciding to study at AUT was easy, says Marijaan Tane who is currently in her final semester of her Bachelor of Arts in Māori Development and Bachelor of Business in Market Insights: Marketing, Advertising, Retailing and Sales conjoint programme.
“AUT has great scholarship opportunities and I was privileged to receive the AUT Vice-Chancellor Significant Student Scholarship when I left high school. I had heard such great things about the university, particularly that it had great connections with industry and encouraged innovation. My sister was also studying at AUT at the time, and I saw how much she was enjoying her studies and growing her skillset.”
Connecting with her AUT Māori whānau has been a highlight of her time at university.
“In my first year, I didn’t take the opportunity to engage with Te Tari Takawaenga Māori (the Māori Liaison team) as much as I could have. I was somewhat apprehensive as I felt like I may not belong, having limited understanding of our reo and only partial knowledge of my whakapapa. However, in my second year, when I became a Māori peer mentor, I realised how welcoming everyone was in the whānau space. I then began connecting with other tauira Māori, who were on a similar journey as me, and we all learned from each other.
“I’m extremely grateful to AUT – particularly Te Tari Takawaenga Māori and Te Ara Poutama, the Faculty of Māori and Indigenous Development – for their guidance in creating a space for me to connect with my taha Māori, and continue my journey into knowing who I am and where I come from.”
For Marijaan, one of the most memorable experiences has been completing her final-year workplace experience at the Starship Foundation, which raises funds in support of the Starship Children’s Hospital.
“I initially joined the Starship Foundation as an intern to complete a part of my studies at AUT. However, after my fourth week at the Foundation, I was offered a role as family liaison co-ordinator. My mahi involves communicating the impact of the Starship Foundation through telling the stories of our Starship families, which we’re extremely grateful to be able to share. This includes working on public campaigns, liaising with the corporate partners team, and creating content for social media.
“My workplace experience has been incredibly valuable, and I think it was really beneficial in emulating the process of securing employment. For me, one of the greatest benefits from this experience was having my skills recognised by an employer, and then being offered a position within the Starship Foundation team. In the future, I hope to continue connecting with likeminded individuals, and using my creativity to collaborate with socially minded organisations that live their values.”
Marijaan wouldn’t hesitate to recommend studying a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Business conjoint programme.
“There’s a great diversity in the courses you study, and it was great to have a balance of the two pathways. I particularly loved my design thinking electives as they helped me further my growth mindset and agility. I think AUT also provides a great environment for growth, and figuring out who you are and what you’re passionate about.”
Supported to thrive
She has appreciated the support available to students, particularly while studying during a global pandemic.
“I think my biggest challenge was adjusting to studying online during the COVID-19 lockdown in 2020. However, reaching out to the Māori Liaison team and student services provided some much-needed support. Everyone is compassionate and wants to see you achieve.”
Marijaan’s advice for other students is simple: enjoy your time at AUT.
“Take the time to connect with other students and find your whānau at uni. It’s often said to take every opportunity at university, which I support wholeheartedly. Creating connections has brought new opportunities for me to grow my leadership skills and broaden my network.”