Mentoring programme extends diversity commitment

A celebration was held to celebrate a fruitful collaborative relationship between students and industry.

Left to right; top to bottom: Dallas Watene, Reece Winikerei, Phoenix Matautia-Carmont, Anthony Dang, Kerry Powell (Beca), Ashe Cooper (Beca), Rupert Hodson (Beca), Manuia Lameta-Brown, Shari Masina, Lupesina Koro, Jordan Takapi-Lambert

Our South Pacific Indigenous Engineering Students (SPIES) and engineers from Beca celebrated the end of their mentoring programme at Strata on Tuesday.

The 2O18 SPIES mentoring programme was organised by current students Natasha Mudaliar and Paul Pamaka, with support from Ashley Jones, Lana West, Kirsty Matthews and Katy Lloyd from Beca.

Beca possesses a strong commitment towards diversity and inclusion, which also aligns with our faculty's goals. Participants from the management consultancy have expressed their delight in the mentoring relationships they have developed through the programme, particularly in how this has translated into real opportunities for students.

Rupert Hodson, Beca's Northern Regional Manager, reflected on the importance of the programme and Beca's ongoing relationship with SPIES. There is inherent value in this partnership as Beca continues their journey towards better representing the communities they work and live in. In 2019, 20 graduate engineers who are who are either Māori or Pasifika will be working at Beca.

Phoenix Matautia-Carmont, a Part III Civil Engineering student, was mentored by Ashe Cooper, a recent graduate who identified that the role allowed him to contribute on a larger scale, and to provide insights into engineering that he hoped were helpful. In spite of their "awkward" first meetings, Phoenix spoke with delight about how he considers Ashe as a friend and a reliable contact for advice on navigating university and finding employment. Like Dory in Finding Nemo, Ashe encouraged the students to "just keep swimming".

2018 SPIES President Manuia Lameta-Brown concluded the evening with a Samoan blessing traditionally given by a father to his son going out to battle:

Ia Pouliuli lou tino, malamalama ou mata, ma ia tafe toto i ou ala. May you be invisible to your enemy, may you be alert and may victory flow in your path.