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Top award caps successful study at EIT for former Business Studies student

April 25, 2024

Amy Saunders has capped off her Bachelor of Business Studies degree at EIT by graduating with a top award.

Amy Saunders has capped off her Bachelor of Business Studies at EIT by graduating with a top award.

Amy had been in Canada since January for a working holiday, but rushed back to attend the graduation ceremony at the Napier Municipal Theatre earlier this month.

Amy, who was awarded EIT’s Margaret Hetley Scholarship in her first year, rounded off her degree by walking off with the TRACTA Award for Academic Excellence in the EIT Bachelor of Business Studies (Marketing).

“After finishing my degree, I thought I’d have a little break and decided to go over to Canada. It was just to try something different.”

Amy says she was “super grateful” to receive the award, sponsored by TRACTA.

“My degree has been quite disrupted, like everyone else, but with COVID and then the cyclone. Being able to keep myself accountable throughout all of that disruption and still graduate and get the grades that I was after, was really cool.”

“This award is very validating after quite a hectic degree.”

Amy is now focussed on finding a role in marketing in Hawke’s Bay or elsewhere and getting her career started.

“I’m pretty open to anything. I do love to travel, so I think it would be exciting if I did find something overseas that worked, but yeah, I love New Zealand, and Hawke’s Bay is always home.”

EIT initially wasn’t on Amy’s radar when she was head girl at Karamu High School, with the plan being to go to the University of Auckland to do a Bachelor of Global Studies.

“I paid for everything and got into my hall, and then realised that I didn’t want to do that.”

“I withdrew from the course and went and volunteered in Southeast Asia for six months and then came back and thought that I was actually ready to study. I chose EIT, because it was at home, and I could sort of get straight into everything without having to pick up my whole life again and move. “

Another motivating factor was studying for a degree she wanted to do.

“I’ve got a creative mind, but also enjoy the academic side of things. The marketing major offered both of those things and could give me what I wanted all in the one degree.”

“I had a great time, really enjoyed studying, and the topics that we covered and the lectures were great, too.”

Not only did she enjoy the programme, but she also made friends who she still keeps in touch with.

“Throughout all of the disruption, there was always support, and it was a really nice environment while there was so much uncertainty with COVID-19 and the cyclone as well.”

“I feel that it was two-way support. It was the first time for a lot of our lecturers that this kind of thing was happening, and same for the students, so we were all in it together.”

Amy is keen to get into the workforce, but does not rule out studying further at some stage. One thing is certain, she will recommend EIT to people.

“It’s not a huge university, you don’t get lost and made into sort of a number. You are treated as a person, and people know you by name and remember things about you. And I think that that’s really unique about EIT, and I personally felt really looked after throughout my whole degree.”

Amy’s drive and ambition is also reflected in her sporting achievements. Amy captained the under 18 canoe polo women’s team who won gold at the Oceania Championships in 2017. In 2019, she competed in the waka ama sprint nationals.

Kurt Sandtmann, Managing Partner of TRACTA commended Amy on her achievements in both graduating and receiving top honours for her degree in business.

“It is energising to see such strong, ambitious marketing talent such as Amy coming from within the Hawke’s Bay region. TRACTA are proud be able to support her through EIT.”

John West, the Head of EIT’s Schools of Business and Accounting, said: “Amy is another outstanding graduate, completing her studies through the EIT School of Business.”

“Her resilience like so many others, coupled with her drive to preform at the highest level, has seen Amy not only awarded top graduate awards but provided an outstanding pathway into her career.”