Kiwi Leader Coordinator, Te Awanui Ltd - Bay of Plenty, New Zealand
- Bachelor of Science
- Biological Science
There was never really any question that Monique Corbett would leave the Bay of Plenty in which she grew up, for her tertiary education or her career – she loves the area too much and is now a proud University of Waikato graduate working as Kiwi Leader Coordinator for Te Awanui Ltd.
Monique’s study pathway took her from the Diploma in Environmental Management at Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology to a Bachelor of Science majoring in Biological Science at the University of Waikato’s Tauranga campus. She has fond memories of all the practical, hands-on experience that was a big part of her degree, with the Bay of Plenty providing the perfect environment for the marine and freshwater related component in particular.
Monique says that working in the primary sector means she puts her degree to good use: “I can speak from experience when I am promoting the diverse career pathways within the primary sector. Being able to understand the terminology in the science based careers has been essential when helping to bridge the communication gap between industry and youth and/or young professionals.”
There is no ‘typical’ day in Monique’s job: “One week I could be down in Te Kaha learning about the training programme that Toi Ohomai run to up-skill their rangatahi to become orchard managers; another day I could be at Plant and Food Research auditing their current practices to see how Kiwi Leaders can add value to the attraction and retention of Māori scientists within their organisation; and another day I could be on a bus with rangatahi from the secondary schools on a discovery tour around local businesses to promote career opportunities in the primary sector.”
Monique is passionate about breaking down the 'hard work and low pay' stereotype that she believes the primary sector suffers from: “In reality, there are a number of diverse career pathways which are extremely rewarding. Educating people about the science, innovation and technology that is needed in these growing industries enables me to contribute to the success of New Zealand’s future workforce.”