As a student, the Tuākana programme had a huge impact on Vera Clarkson’s studies, and inspired her to become a mentor in the final years of her degree.
“My favourite subjects in high school were always maths and statistics, which is why I chose to continue studying them with a Bachelor of Commence/ Bachelor of Science conjoint majoring in Finance, Mathematics and Statistics.
“I also knew that the numerical, analytical, and problem-solving skills that you learn in these subjects are important skills for any sort of professional career.
“This was proven earlier this year, when I accepted a graduate role as an Actuarial Analyst at Deloitte to start early next year. This role is particularly exciting as it will be a key stepping stone in pursuing my career goal of becoming a qualified actuary.
“As a student, the Tuākana programme has had a huge impact on my studies. The mentors I worked with as a teina have always been there to support me, and the passion that they have to help Māori and Pacific students succeed has been inspiring.
“I decided to become a Tuākana mentor in both Statistics and Maths in 2013 (a role I still hold today) because I was determined to help younger Māori and Pacific students succeed at University – something my mentors did for me.
"It also offered me a great opportunity to become more immersed in my culture.
“I am so pleased that in the final three years of my degree, I’ve been able to give back to a programme that has given me so much during my time here at the University.