Joel Hall

Joel Hall


A relentless love for learning and the unwavering support of his family is what’s given Joel Hall (Ngāpuhi) the “kete of knowledge” to enact positive change for the community.

Joel Hall

This week the 23-year-old graduated from the University of Waikato with a Bachelor of Management Studies with First Class Honours and a Master of Management Studies with First Class Honours, after completing them concurrently over five years.

“Although I appreciate the accolades and job titles, it’s my kaupapa that drives me,” Joel says.

“I have immense gratitude to the University for giving me a space to build my toolkit - my kete of knowledge and understanding - so when I’m provided opportunities, I can give them everything.”

Joel, who moved to London in November 2022 to travel Europe, returned home to celebrate his graduation with his family and friends.

Wearing a korowai (Māori cloak) gifted from his sisters, Joel says graduation isn’t just about celebrating his success.

“It’s a time to say thank you – to the tutor who taught me to read and write, and to my family who gave me a home and food, and a space to grow.”

Joel’s formative years were often turbulent. He was adopted at age 12 by his extended family, who believed in education as the pathway to a prosperous and fulfilling future.

During his time at Waikato, Joel became a successful tutor, orator and role model who lecturers say has made a lasting impression on others.

Fresh out of high school, Joel was accepted into several universities across New Zealand but chose Waikato for its nurturing environment, allowing him to discover his own identity and be closer to his whanau.

Living in Bryant Hall, on-campus halls of residence, he found a supportive community that helped him balance work, study, and travel.

“Education provides many wonderful things – it provides security, opportunity, pride and accomplishment, it’s an amazing pathway that opens up a lot of things.”

Joel received numerous scholarships, including the First Foundation Scholarship and D.V. Bryant Trust University of Waikato Residential Scholarship, to complete a double major in Strategic Management and Human Resource Management. It was his passion for governance that encouraged him to pursue a master's in Management and Sustainability, under the guidance of Professor Brad Jackson.

“I profoundly believe in the relationship between community and business.”

As part of his First Foundation Scholarship, Joel gained an internship opportunity with Fonterra at age 17, working in the sustainability team and kickstarting a passion he further explored at Waikato.

Through valuable mentorship and a passion for his community, Joel served as Chairman-Trustee of Taiohi Toa Trust (Hamilton Police Youth Development) and is now taking a year’s leave from his current role as Non-Executive Director of Workwise to rest and embrace the simple joys of life with a new role in London.

“While I’ve been incredibly blessed by the opportunities I’ve had, I’ve lived by the calendar of my schedule for a very long time. Now I’m taking the time to be curious, to travel and learn a lot more in my new role.”

Joel plans to start his PhD in 2025, viewing it as an opportunity to further develop his understanding of complex issues New Zealand businesses are encountering.

Until then, Joel is preparing to present his master’s dissertation alongside his supervisor at the 21st International Studying Leadership Conference in Copenhagen before starting his new role in early January 2024.

When asked his advice for prospectus students, Joel says to “find things you enjoy, find a way to give back. And you know, get bloody on with it.”

Joel Hall

Related stories

All stories
All stories