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Resilience leads to Microsoft role

The offer of an internship at one of the world’s largest technology companies is proof that commitment and determination do pay off for one University of Auckland student.

Twenty-one year old University of Auckland Bachelor of Commerce/Bachelor of Arts conjoint student Anita Mani, has been offered a role with Microsoft in Auckland, an opportunity that was previously unimaginable.

A New Zealander of Pacific Island descent, Anita’s years of tertiary study have been challenging at times.

She had to repeat a stage one accounting paper over one summer break, a setback that prompted her to reflect on her priorities.

“I knew that my work ethic had to change for me to do better in my studies. Resilience and time management really were the key to help me overcome this hurdle“ she says.

That reflection ultimately led her to broaden her course of study from a BCom to a BCom/BA conjoint, majoring in sociology.

“The links between management and sociology are invaluable and have given me a more holistic perspective,” she says.

“I want a career that not only involves my passion for business, but also my love of helping people. This is why I intend to pursue a job in human resources.”

Raised in West Auckland by her Fiji Indian father and her late Tongan mother, Anita first took business studies while at Waitakere College and has been hooked ever since.

Last year Anita was a mentee selected for the Women’s Mentoring Programme run at the Business School, which matches a mentee with a mentor for the year. Anita was paired up with Vikki Spencer, a people and performance manager at Higgins Construction, and says she really benefitted from the programme.

“The monthly events that address a trending topic in the workplace really opened my eyes to what I could expect once in full time employment. Having a mentor and being able to have one on one interactions really helped me gain insight into the world of human resources and seek advice, particularly in times of uncertainty,” she says. “It was amazing and inspiring hearing about Vikki’s career journey as well.”

“At the Business School, I’m a member of the club Commerce o’ Pasifika. I am also an alumni of TupuToa, an organisation that assists Maori and Pacific students to create pathways into careers in the corporate and professional sectors,” she says.

Anita begins her new role at Microsoft next week. Her advice to people who have just begun their journey is “Persevere but be fluid. Apply and try it out.”


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