40 under 40 2018: adaptability a valued trait

We hear a lot about what it takes to have a successful career in the twenty-first century.

This year’s 40 Under 40 alumni are proof that while hard work and persistence are still important, adaptability is becoming an increasingly valuable and necessary trait in a world of rapid and continuous change.

Launched in 2017, 40 Under 40 not only recognises alumni who are mid-career and have already made significant achievements in their chosen professions, but seeks to inspire the next generation of alumni leaders to make a difference in the world, within the University of Auckland family and in their local communities.

With over 190,000 alumni in New Zealand and around the world, almost 50 percent of whom are under the age of 40, the challenge of picking 40 takes a significant amount of work.

Mark Bentley (MBA, 2011), Alumni Relations and Development Director, says a wide range of criteria are used in selecting the final 40.

“Following the success of last year’s 40 Under 40 we received a large number of nominations for inclusion in this year’s list. Whittling down the list is never easy, but we have tried to reflect the breadth and diversity of our alumni in our final selection, and once again we can draw inspiration from their achievements.”

From Sam Lucas, a social entrepreneur building a school to teach coding in Madagascar to Liz Alder, the founder of Walking on Water Surf, a programme that is transforming lives in Gisborne, this year’s 40 Under 40 are proof that the University of Auckland alumni community is literally changing the world.

Liz Alder

Mark Bentley says several themes emerged in the careers of those included in this year’s list.

“Being prepared to take a few risks is important, particularly when establishing your career. Also, finding good mentors and advisers allows you to tap into valuable professional networks and helps you to consider possibilities you might not have previously considered.”

Many of the nominees expressed their gratitude to lecturers and academic staff who had taken a personal interest in them and had been pivotal in their decisions to pursue opportunities that were often well outside their comfort zones.

Ingenio: Spring 2018

This article appears in the Spring 2018 edition of Ingenio, the print magazine for alumni and friends of the University of Auckland.

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