Gap years can change people’s life for good. EIT student Johanna Scholz had one of these transformative experiences. Six years ago, German born Johanna travelled around New Zealand and fell in love with the country. She always knew she would come back one day.
It took her some years however, to finally realise her dream of moving to the other side of the world. Johanna had to complete her Bachelor of Sports Economics in Germany first and gain some work experience before she returned – this time to stay.
“When I first came to New Zealand Napier really got me. I can’t explain it but the city felt like my new little home”, says the 24-year-old. She had a look around the country to explore different options but eventually came back to Hawke’s Bay. She says that enrolling into EIT’s Postgraduate Diploma in Digital Business was the absolutely right decision since every course on the programme matches her interests.
Johanna is aiming to take up a digital marketing role in a sports related field where she would be able to combine everything she is passionate about, for example her love for social media and influencer marketing. Johanna’s Instagram account where she is posting about active lifestyle, travelling and nutrition has close to 50,000 followers. She is also collaborating with various brands.
“The EIT programme is exactly what I wanted and I get so much out of it. All the courses are really relevant for what I want to pursue, be it digital entrepreneurship and innovation, international markets, leadership, e-commerce, strategic management or digital marketing.”
One of Johanna’s highlights was creating a digital marketing report and social media campaign for the bus tour agency Kiwi Experience. Although she didn’t put her ideas and findings through to the company she thinks that her work might come in handy one day and support future job applications.
Since arriving in September 2019, Johanna has perfectly settled into Hawke’s Bay life. She works in a local gym, plays football for Havelock North and has made many friends. “I feel like I belong. New Zealanders are very open-minded and welcoming and I enjoy the great outdoors and the good coffee.”
Currently Johanna holds a student visa that will be extended to a three-year post-study visa. “I want to stay here and I hope that a New Zealand qualification might be an advantage when I eventually apply for residency.”