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AmCham boardroom hosts unique lessons in governance

5 August 2014

AmCham boardroom hosts unique lessons in governance

Kristal Mendez was the newest, youngest and least experienced face around the boardroom table at the American Chamber of Commerce in New Zealand (AmCham) board meeting last week as she started her year-long stint as its first ever student board member.

Mendez, who is completing a Master of Business Administration at AUT University, will attend several board meetings as a non-voting but active member, as part of the student board member initiative just launched by AmCham and the AUT Business School.

"This initiative has been created to help develop the next generation of organisational leaders, and to further connections between AmCham , AUT and the business community. The AUT Business School promotes strong industry engagement throughout its programmes of study so we knew it would have strong candidates for the student board member role," says the Executive Director of AmCham Mike Hearn.

Dean of the AUT Faculty of Business and Law, and AmCham director, Professor Geoff Perry says: "The business school is focused on connecting our students to business in a meaningful way and offering them valuable learning opportunities. This initiative will give the students high-level insights into corporate governance and the chance to participate in boardroom discussion. Having these young future leaders in the boardroom will also give AmCham a chance to hear about issues from a different perspective."

Mendez, an experienced lawyer, says she is completing an MBA as a way to further her interest in corporate governance and develop a business mindset, so the chance to get into the AmCham boardroom is an "extra bonus".

"I'm really excited about this position, because it offers a high-level insight into governance I can't get anywhere else.

"This is a unique opportunity for someone at my level to peer behind the veil and learn how business works at an executive level."

The AmCham/AUT student board member initiative will run for three years.


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