Waikato student wins Emerging Leaders Award

27 July 2018

Waikato students Shalini Guleria, Kaylee Bird and Claire Voogt at the New Zealand Emerging Leaders Awards. Photography by Andrew Lau.

University of Waikato law and management student Kaylee Bird took out the top law prize at New Zealand’s Emerging Leaders Awards this month. Competing against the country’s top emerging leaders in the profession, she says it was a “real honour” to have her leadership skills recognised.

Kaylee attended the awards ceremony in Auckland alongside Waikato students Shalini Guleria and Claire Voogt, who were finalists for the Science category.

The intense selection process included psychometric testing, video interviews and a stakeholder presentation, before the finalists could relax at the awards evening.

As the winner of the law category, Kaylee will receive a C-suite lunch with a leader from Chapman Tripp, a mentor for three months, enrolment in the Leadership Mastery online course, and a CV workshop with Talent Solutions.

“I’m really grateful to NxtStep, Talent Solutions and Chapman Tripp for making the award possible and seeing potential in my leadership abilities,” Kaylee says.

Since starting at the University of Waikato in 2015, Kaylee’s been involved in all aspects of university life. She’s a law student ambassador, a tutor in equity law, a Hillary scholar for dance, and a law clerk at McCaw Lewis. She is also a Step Higher Award recipient and will head to Nepal early next year to do volunteer work in communities there.

“I was told that my community focus gave me an edge for the Emerging Leader Awards,” she says. “This links to the values that have been instilled in me through the Sir Edmund Hillary Scholarship Programme. I’m dedicated to doing what I can to promote communities of people helping people, rather than individuals.”

But university life hasn’t always been easy for Kaylee. Her biggest challenge came at the end of her third year, when she got sick and had to withdraw from some papers.

“At the time I felt awful, but I realised that my health was more important than anything else, and I received a lot of support from the university – I was able to access things like medical withdrawals, compassionate consideration, and help with sorting a plan for my degree going forward.”

Kaylee’s hoping to use her leadership skills to inspire other young students to become leaders.

“In 10 years, I’d like to have a programme established in primary, intermediate and high schools to nurture the qualities of emerging leaders. I want to get kids interested and inspired to create change.”

Latest stories

Related stories

NZ police need better training in privacy and human rights law – here is what should happen

The New Zealand Police were recently found to have been routinely and illegally photographing young…

Vladimir Putin

Putin plays the annexation card, pushing the war in Ukraine into a dangerous new phase

A lot has changed since world leaders last met in person at the United Nations…

Seven scholarships announced on Kīngitanga Day support rangatahi and the environment

Seven University of Waikato undergraduate students have been awarded the Te Arikinui Dame Te Atairangikaahu…

The merger of TVNZ and RNZ needs to build trust in public media – 3 things the law change must get right

With only six days left for submissions to the select committee examining the Aotearoa New…

Full law degree launched in Tauranga

Te Piringa Faculty of law is delighted to announce the full suite of Law qualifications…

Samoa law

From late nights at the library to the Samoan District Court

Family, education and the law are of the utmost importance to Samoa District Court Judge…

Callum Saunders

Waikato athletes in Birmingham

Thirteen University of Waikato students and alumni will be competing in this year’s Commonwealth Games…

Bethany Angus

Lucrative scholarships support University of Waikato graduates overseas

Bethany Angus, Felicity Tomkins and Gracie Francis have been awarded the Kia Ora Foundation Patricia…

Gina Matchitt’s Patikitiki I & Patikitiki II

Matariki Art Exhibition opens at University of Waikato

An art exhibition dubbed Voices of Mana Motuhake is open to the public at the…

Former Hillary Scholar switches codes

From basketball to acting – University of Waikato alumnus Connor Johnston is using the skills…

Filipe Manu

Taking on the world stage

Sitting in his Swiss apartment, Tongan-New Zealand tenor and University of Waikato alumnus Filipe Manu…

Majenta Gaffar

Linking passion with education

From the moment young Majenta Gaffar got plopped in front of the telly by her…