University Entrance and the Guaranteed Entry Score requirements were covered off by Kitiona, and a fascinating mini Sociology lecture by Steve Matthewman, followed: the students were amazed how much interesting content was presented in 30 minutes. Steve also gave an overview of undergraduate degrees, explaining you not only gained specialist academic knowledge and an appreciation of current issues, philosophical bases and methodologies, but that you also grew your intellectual capacity and developed a set of transferable skills to enhance career flexibility.
Then, to the delight of the students, two Old Collegians, Shontelle Grimberg, 2011py and Talapo Uivaa, 2011py spoke about their transition from King’s College to university, both emphasising the vital importance of self-directed study and self and time-management. Shontelle is in her fourth year of a BA LLB with a Dip of Languages in Spanish and Maori. She urged the group to use all the services in “O” week and to get involved and meet new people by joining clubs and volunteering. She also explained that using a wall calendar for organising time and meeting dead-lines, was the best way of managing a busy year, and encouraged accessing academic support and using the Tuakana student learning workshops and support services.
Talapo had initially thought he wanted to study music but decided to do a BCom LLB. He is really enjoying his studies, especially criminal law, and explained that “university study was time-intensive so watch dates and dead-lines and begin working from day one. School is easy the teachers look after you university is different and you have to be self-disciplined”. He advised keeping a balance, studying what you enjoy and are really interested in, and not getting complacent, but keeping on top of the work-load. He commented that time management is the hardest “it’s a big jump from school so don’t get into gaming, social media and TV” but do join some clubs.
The Equity Liaison staff Tanya Savage and Mereana Toki wrapped up the session by explaining there wasn’t any hand-holding but there was masses of help – so “don’t let pride get in the way”. Instead, pick up on the services and opportunities- get out there! There are Maori and Pacific Island representatives in each faculty-“it’s their job to help and support you, so access the open door policy- there is a family here at the University of Auckland”. Mereana explained that these Maori and Pacific student support services are available at every NZ university, and advised the students to volunteer and participate, and most importantly also check and reply to emails!
Students were urged to “work smart- good grades do speak!” Anthony Numanga thanked Kitiona and the presenters, on behalf of King’s College, and the students returned to the College in time for after school activities.