Executive manager

Edward Ashby’s study gave him skills in critical and lateral thinking, writing, and analysis that are crucial to his role as executive manager for Te Kawerau Iwi Settlement Trust.

Edward Ashby photographed in front of an archaelogical site

Key facts

Career: Executive manager for Te Kawerau Iwi Settlement Trust
Programme: Master of Arts
Subjects: Anthropology

"I am Executive Manager for Te Kawerau Iwi Settlement Trust. My job is a mix between general management of operations and building strategy and policy. It covers assisting governance (trustees), managing the organisation, and building the iwi's cultural, social, environmental, and economic capability and capacity.

"Working with an iwi brings a holistic and flexible approach to a wide range of issues related to indigenous rights, social justice, culture, economics and environmental sustainability, and allows me to work with key partners to develop innovative strategic and technical solutions to problems. Having culture and justice at the centre of my job is hugely rewarding.

"Anthropology gave me a grounding in the study of culture first and foremost, the ability to think critically and laterally about my own society and culture and to ask questions and examine evidence about others.

Studying Arts gave me skills in critical and lateral thinking, writing, and analysis that are crucial to my role.

"It also gave me a broad education in areas including culture, Philosophy, Geography, Art History, heritage, History and others.

"I have a background in Engineering and Science as well as Arts. I see Arts as providing the best avenue for learning and applying critical thought to ourselves to identify and try to work through our own internal biases. An Arts degree provides the opportunity for an education in a broad range of subjects that sit at the core of what makes us human.

"Pursue what you are passionate about, what drives your curiosity or enables you to express yourself. Drive, innovation, dedication and capability are what employers want, and with an increasingly non-traditional emerging job market, the skill set an Arts degree can give will be put to good use."