Former Hawera High School student now enjoys studying at Waikato

7 August 2014

Ben Plumtree

Enjoying Waikato: Engineering student Ben Plumtree.

A work placement at Methanex, the world’s largest supplier of methanol to international markets, is one of the highlights of Ben Plumtree’s study.

Ben (Ngāi Tahu, Ngāti Māmoe) is in the third year of a Bachelor of Engineering, majoring in Mechanical Engineering, at the University of Waikato. As part of his studies, Ben had to complete two 400-hour work placements, one of which was at Methanex.

“This allowed me to see how I could use my studies in the workforce,” he says.

Ben completed his schooling at Hawera High School in south Taranaki before choosing to study at Waikato.

Solar car racing team

“After school I was interested in being involved with the solar car racing team at the University. There is also a strong rugby culture at Waikato, which allowed me to easily keep up my rugby during studies.”

In his first year of study, Ben lived in the Halls of Residence and is now a Residential Assistant at College Hall. He says this has allowed him to meet lots of new people and “has provided large amounts of experience in teamwork, leadership and pastoral care”.

“It was a fantastic way to meet new friends in the Waikato, as well as being directly on campus, which made fitting into university life easy.”

Scholarship helps with studies

To help with his studies, Ben received the University of Waikato’s Bachelor of Engineering Fees Scholarship in his first year. He currently holds the Methanex Undergraduate Scholarship.

“These have all been very helpful as they’ve assisted me with funding my studies, and the Methanex Scholarship has also provided mentoring so I can determine my path after university,” he says.

Ben says he likes the environment that Waikato University provides.

“The campus is far enough away from the centre of Hamilton to provide a relaxed atmosphere while still being close enough to source anything that is required for projects.”

Student Recruitment Advisers from the University of Waikato will be at the Taranaki Careers Expo, TSB Stadium, Wellbourn, New Plymouth on Sunday 17 August from 10am-3pm and Monday 18 August from 8.40am-3.30pm.

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