The ripple effect of a scholarship
7 April 2020
Receiving a scholarship as a teenager changed the course of Abinesh Krishan’s life completely, which led to him paying it forward and establishing a scholarship for University of Auckland students.
Abinesh grew up in poverty, in Sigatoka, Fiji. When he was 17, he received an Australian Government scholarship, which enabled him to travel to Australia to study an undergraduate degree in land surveying and mapping. After completing his masters degree in the same field, Abinesh was selected as a Fulbright Scholar and he studied a Master of Business Administration in New York. Abinesh is now a Client Strategy Director at Potentia, a specialist technology recruitment agency.
He says without the scholarship that afforded him an education, his life would be vastly different.
“Its impact has been massive, even life-defining. There is no way I would have ever had the opportunity to go to university and break the cycle of poverty without that support. I was the first in my family to be university-educated and the first to go abroad.”
Knowing first-hand the importance of a tertiary education, Abinesh wanted to ensure others could receive a career-enhancing scholarship as well. In 2013, he helped establish the University of Auckland’s Potentia Undergraduate Scholarship in Computer Science.
He says Potentia believes in supporting and growing future talent of New Zealand.
“In the business of technology, we know it is a constrained market. So, when the opportunity to establish the scholarship arose, this was a small way we could do our part and give back to the community. As big believers of the ‘no one left behind’ movement, anything we can do to help support students in their career journey is something we want to be part of.
“We feel extremely privileged to have this long-term relationship with the University of Auckland. The University constantly produces amazing students, and we look forward to continuing this relationship moving forward, not just with the scholarship but our involvement in the social strata within the University. This includes the sponsorship of the Developers Society, the Data Science Club and the Computer Science Society to name a few.”