Procurement Coordinator, Capital Works Procurement Team, Ministry of Education, Wellington
Bachelor of Health Science in Public and Environmental Health
Sarah Yzendoorn has always envisioned herself as a changemaker.
“I’ve always been passionate about developing countries and improving the quality of life for nations. In my first year at AUT, I studied psychology and marketing conjoint degrees, and while I enjoyed what I was studying, I knew that something was missing. In my second semester, I heard about the Public and Environmental Health major and instantly knew it was the degree for me.”
Sarah says she would definitely recommend the Bachelor of Health Science in Public and Environmental Health to others.
“If you’re passionate about public health issues like smoking, depression or obesity, enjoy problem-solving and want to facilitate change amongst populations through strategising, planning and implementing initiatives, then studying public and environmental health is for you.”
Choosing to study at AUT was a no-brainer for Sarah.
“AUT’s reputation as a modern university, as well as its collaborative facilities and practical teaching style won my heart. The small classes also made it easy to get to know my peers, and have open and honest, health-related discussions. This helped to cement my learnings, challenged and shaped my thinking, and enabled me to see the world from a plethora of perspectives.”
After graduating from AUT at the end of 2019, Sarah is now working for the Ministry of Education in Wellington.
“I’m working closely to support the national manager of procurement, and to support the development and implementation of strategic activity. I chose this role because the social determinants of health model stood out to me during my degree. I’m interested in learning more about the role of improving schools and the quality of learning environments, and the practical realities of achieving this, as an avenue to pursuing my vision of improving the public health of future generations.”
The skills to succeed
Being able to apply her knowledge during a summer internship was one of her greatest achievements during her time at university, Sarah says.
“During the 2018/19 summer break, I was selected for a health and safety internship with the Government Health and Safety Lead in Wellington. Through this experience, I was also able to establish a relationship with Air New Zealand and completed 150 hours of workplace experience within their strategic wellbeing team.”
Her advice for other students is simple: speak up.
“No matter what the situation looks like, always speak up! Someone will hear you.”