Tamara MacKinnon completed a Master of Arts in Criminology and is now an intelligence analyst with the NZ Police.
Career: Intelligence analyst
Programme: Master of Arts
Subjects: Criminology, Psychology
"I currently work as an intelligence analyst for the NZ Police.
"The role involves analysing crime data to interpret the criminal environment and includes identifying risks and trends. We take a 'Prevention First' attitude towards crime, and write reports that both inform and influence decision makers to support crime prevention, intervention, and enforcement activities.
"The foundation of my personal career goal is to help and inspire others. The aspect that I enjoy most about my work is knowing that I'm actively contributing towards crime reduction and safer communities.
"I cannot stress enough how well my Arts degree helped prepare me for working life. It developed and strengthened my abilities to think critically about issues; conduct research and form evidence based conclusions and arguments; create sustained pieces of writing; identify important gaps in information and literature; understand basic statistical analysis; and practice planning, organising, and manage my time and projects well.
"My studies helped me strengthen my communication skills, gave me confidence to approach and work with senior staff, as well as constructively take criticism of my work, and use it to improve future inputs.
"I decided to enrol in an Arts degree after leaving school as I was specifically interested in studying Psychology and Criminology, and valued the reputation of the University of Auckland. I also had a strong natural ability in Arts subjects, so knew it was something that I would be good at. Furthermore I appreciated the range of study areas available. I knew that if I wanted to change my degree at any point, options within Arts were endless.
"My choice of studies has set me up well for working life. I can acknowledge and understand the multitudes of complex factors that contribute towards crime and deviance in society. I know that nothing is black or white, but I have learned skills that give me confidence to argue for or against issues. Sociology and psychology are areas that help to build strong levels of social understanding and empathy, skills that I think are pivotal for being successful in any social agency.
"I knew when I started my undergraduate degree that I wanted to join the NZ Police, so this helped me build a clear career path.
"The University of Auckland introduced me to a diverse set of friends and colleagues that I'll proudly carry with me for life."