Marc Lewis

Marc (Ngāti Hinehika, Ngāti Kahungunu) is studying a BCom/BE(Hons) conjoint.

I was interested in engineering from a young age. I always wanted to know how things worked. Chemical and Materials Engineering allowed me to discover this from an atomic and microscopic point of view. I learned the way in which materials are created and processed and the reasons different materials have the properties that they do.

“I've had the honour of being awarded two scholarships while studying – The Chancellors Award for top Māori and Pacific Acholars (CATS)  paid for all my tuition for my first three years, as well as covering my accommodation in the halls of residence in my first year. This was awarded to me in my final year of high school as a recognition of academic ability, sporting achievement as well as cultural and community involvement. After that, I was awarded a Toi Uru Roa: The Paul Kelly Māori Undergraduate Scholarship. This recognises academic ability and leadership potential and pays for my tuition fees for the last two years of my degree.

“Both of these awards have been instrumental to the success I have had so far. I am very interested in launching my own start-up this year, and the financial position these scholarships have put me in has given me confidence to pursue this dream without worrying about financial repercussions. Having the right circumstances to follow your dreams is very rare so I feel honoured to be in this position.

“We are taught by industry leaders with decades of experience. Our lecturers aren’t afraid of doing things differently and like to have relevant, intelligent class discussions rather than just talking through a set of slides. I enjoyed my Part IV project, as I got to pitch my own project which brought with it its own set of challenges. It was very self-driven, which I loved. I want to be a leader of my own company one day so being able to practice leadership by leading myself was very rewarding for me.

“What I really enjoy about uni life is the sense of community. City campus really is like its own little city made up of like-minded individuals. Whatever your interest may be, there is something for you. In the very rare instance that there is nothing that piques your interest you can even establish a new club.

“As a Maori at the University there are a plethora of services set up to help in every way from academics to social. Tuākana tutorials ad tutors help you to keep your grades up supported by clubs like SPIES, and CAPM who do a great job of connecting you to businesses outside of the university allowing you to start your networking on the right foot.

“I’ve always been interested in business and how businesses can affect change. I didn’t always want to be just an engineer or just a business person – I wanted to be something unique. It was a no brainer to pick a conjoint degree. To be able to take the best of both degrees and use this to shape my views and aspirations has been greatly rewarding. Having the right circumstances to follow your dreams is very rare so I feel honoured to be in this position.”