Shadow a Leader

The aim of Shadow a Leader is to give Auckland secondary school students and AUT Faculty of Business, Economics and Law students the opportunity to follow a business leader for a day and to understand what it takes to succeed in the leader’s field of endeavour.

Download a Shadow a Leader brochure

Teams of three

Each team consists of a business leader, one secondary school student, and one AUT Faculty of Business, Economics and Law Student. 

Students are selected based on their leadership capabilities, potential and overall achievement. Secondary school business teachers and Heads of Department nominate their business students deserving of this initiative. AUT students bring their experience as tertiary students and expertise of their chosen areas of study to Shadow a Leader teams. They are charged with guiding their younger student team members.

The day

The Shadow a Leader day begins with breakfast at AUT for participating students and business leaders. A young keynote speaker delivers an inspiring address at the breakfast.

After breakfast, the students follow their leader on their activities for the day. 

Shadow a Leader team activities may include:

  • Strategy planning, sales, finance, or marketing meeting
  • Client meeting
  • Board meeting
  • Videoconferencing
  • Product manufacture or factory tour
  • HR consultation
  • Team building

Feedback from participants

On 5 July 2018, 186 students from 40 schools across Auckland and AUT’s Faculty of Business, Economics and Law were exposed to the day-to-day workings of leadership in action. A number of students and business leaders shared their feedback with us afterwards.

High school students

Louis Wu, Pakuranga School

Shadowed Campbell  Rose, Tax Partner, Deloitte

"Shadow a Leader showed me real insight into the possibility of how life working at Deloitte could be and it sparked my curiosity for tax even more. It was really insightful showing us around the office, and allowing us to enter the 'green room' and talking with people from different sectors within Deloitte, giving us a real sense of the culture and what really motivates people at Deloitte.

"If there is ever another opportunity like this again, please message me, as it was truly such an enjoyable and memorable experience."

AUT students

Holly Sutich

Shadowed Jeremy O’Brien, Regional General Manager Direct and Market Development, Air NZ

"I had such a great day, and it was really interesting getting to hear and learn first-hand about the internal operations across many facets of the company. I loved learning about the sales, marketing, strategy, mission, sustainability, contact centres and Tandem - it was so awesome getting to see so much in the one day.

"I was genuinely blown away by how passionate and motivated all of the Air NZ staff we came across were - it made me really excited to see how excited team members were about their jobs - and definitely a company culture I love the sound of! Thanks for a truly memorable day."

Business leaders

Don Aue, Associate Director - Audit, RSM Audit

"We live in a great place here in Aotearoa and it is important that we continue to support programmes such as Shadow a Leader. I am happy that our discussion on leadership resonated with the students. I believe we all have natural characteristics of great leaders, our challenge however is to nurture and develop this through practice."

Hana Seumanu-Ikenasio, Regional Manager – Tertiary Education Commission

"I’d like extend our collective congratulations and thank-you to the students for coming into our TEC space with a genuine willingness to learn and ask great questions regarding this complex and vast public sector machinery called Government.

"Everyone enjoyed having young talent in and around the office, and the opportunity to listen and learn fresh and insightful perspectives from their experiences.

"In addition, a huge and sincere thanks to AUT and your awesome co-ordinator Annie Gandar for making this happen for us."

Shadow a Leader is proudly supported by:

Contact us

Business leaders and AUT students

Annie Gandar, Manager Business Relations
Phone: 921 9999 x 5330

Secondary school students

If you are a year 13 or Young Enterprise Scheme student, contact your business studies teacher or form teacher.