Te Wai Rua-Cowan

Te Wai Rua-Cowan

Freelance Writer / Gym Membership Consultant, Anytime Fitness
Bachelor of Arts in English and New Media Studies

Tuhoe/Cook Island Māori

As someone who loves the arts, writing and digital marketing, studying English and new media studies was the perfect fit for her, says Te Wai Rua-Cowan.

“When I was deciding what to study at university it was very important to me to study something I’m passionate about as ideally it would eventually lead into a career path that I love. My favourite subjects during high school were English, media studies and history, so when I came across the Bachelor of Arts in English and New Media Studies it felt like the natural progression.

“One thing I loved about my degree is that the future career opportunities are broad and versatile, meaning you can cross over into different areas. For instance, I’m a lover of the arts and writing, however I’m also very passionate about health and fitness, so I decided to complete my final-year workplace experience at my local gym doing social media management and marketing, allowing me to get the best of both worlds.”

After completing her degree and graduating from AUT in early 2021, she continues to balance her passion for writing with her interest in health and fitness.

“After completing my studies I had initially planned on completing an internship for music journalism while studying to become a personal trainer. However, then a new work opportunity as a gym membership consultant came up, leading me to delve into the health and fitness industry, and use my knowledge of social media management and marketing in a health and fitness realm. That’s perfect for me! I’ll still continue to write and create content too of course.”

Supported to thrive
Te Wai says she felt very lucky to have found herself in the right university degree.

“I genuinely enjoyed the content I studied, crossed paths with amazing people and was lucky enough to be offered some great opportunities throughout my time at AUT. I was able to meet some of my best friends at AUT. Being surrounded by people who are interested in similar things only inspired me to do better. University isn’t just about the academics; it’s also about the social experiences you gain by crossing paths with like-minded individuals who will play a role in influencing the person you become.”

She is grateful for the support she received throughout her studies.

“During my last semester of uni I was very fortunate to receive free accommodation at the Wellesley Student Apartments near the AUT City Campus. Coming from South Auckland, this made the commute to uni a lot easier and allowed me to grow as a young independent student. It was the first time living out of home and being surrounded by other students, so I was very grateful to be in an environment that had access to all the resources I needed.

“I was also blessed to be given the opportunity to work for the Oceanian Leadership Network at AUT over the summer. As I had just completed my degree in English and new media studies, the opportunity to be in the Oceanian Leadership Network’s media team was presented and I took it with both hands.”

Advice for other students
Te Wai’s advice for other students is simple: time management is key.

“A huge factor that enabled me to remain on top of everything was my time management. As we know, life can get in the way so staying on top of things and chipping away at something a little bit each day can contribute to a lot. You don’t want to stress yourself out trying to complete assessments within a couple of days, nor do you want to have the anxiety of simply getting it done and forgetting about the quality of your content.”

University is a small yet significant fraction of your life, so make the most of it, she adds.

“Grow throughout your university journey and gain all the knowledge you can. Be proactive and gain as much work experience as you can. You’re surrounded by people who are connected to others; network and put yourself out there, you never know who could potentially put you in the right direction, and if not, do your research and find out yourself.”

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