Finding one’s path through helping others

Wednesday 29 May 2024

Bachelor of Business graduate Chris Kent, Te Āti Awa, walked away from university with more than he ever imagined, from learning his whakapapa to making connections across the world and creating a career from his passion for helping people.

Chris Kent with Caren Rangi, ONZM, during his graduation ceremony.

Last updated: Wednesday 29 May 2024

Chris was unsure what he wanted to study until 2021, when he came to Te Kunenga ki Pūrehuroa Massey University to begin a Bachelor of Business. Inspired by his passion for helping others, a major in Human Resource Management and Employee Relations seemed like the obvious educational pathway.

“I had always been interested in HR before this journey as helping people is something I am passionate about, and in general, I think many workplaces out there can become a much better place for everyone with the right HR leadership and policies in place.”

As a father, the hybrid study options at Massey and the peaceful Manawatū campus seemed ideal for keeping both his family and education on track.

“I also knew several people who had previously completed qualifications at Massey and I had only heard good things. And of course, there was flexibility to not only come onto the campus, but to study online from home when it was necessary.”

When asked what advice he’d give to prospective students, Chris mentions the importance of hard work, building a network and seizing opportunities.

“The support and sense of community you can be a part of in Massey if you put yourself out there can be amazing. Aim for your A’s and watch some amazing opportunities come your way because while it may be a cliché, hard work really does pay off.”

The connections made at Massey also helped Chris to reconnect with his background and culture.

“Through my degree, I reconnected with my whakapapa and gained a deeper understanding of both my Māori and Pasifika cultures. Before Massey, I was disconnected from it and being connected with the Māori academic staff and student groups, this led me on my cultural journey where I have since learned a lot of the language, learned my whakapapa, represented Māori and Massey on several international programmes.”

Chris' trips all around the world included Stanford University, where he was one of only two New Zealanders to receive a Certificate of Achievement as an ambassador for New Zealand, Māori and Massey. An experience he attributes to the support of Te Rau Tauawhi (TRT) staff.

“I will forever be grateful to those Māori student support staff and professors such as Farah Palmer, Bridget Bell, Eugene Hepi, Chei, and Garry in the TRT Māori student study spaces. Because people and places such as TRT created an awareness for me of what you can be and what you can achieve when you put your mind to it.”

Through his journey, Chris continues to find ways to positively impact others' lives. Chris is currently enjoying his role as People Coordinator at Kiwibank’s head office in Wellington.

His experience at Massey highlights the importance of building connections and actively participating in the community, which can lead to remarkable opportunities. By aiming high and working hard, individuals can unlock their potential and achieve their goals.

Interested in a Bachelor of Business?

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