Not getting university entrance didn’t stop Brittany Williams getting to university. Unlike most of her peers, she finished school, and even got a scholarship to Christchurch Polytechnic to study business administration.
An unfortunate series of family difficulties, bereavements and earthquakes saw Brittany transfer to Otago Polytechnic. “I wanted a fresh start to gain my independence and a better life. Studying became something I loved and wanted to do.”
After completing a New Zealand diploma in business, she tasted success in a University of Otago summer school marketing paper and decided to go for a BCom in Management and Marketing.
“The staff were really welcoming and I had really strong support from the Māori Centre with counselling and tutorials. I was also mentored by a couple of my lecturers, which helped a lot.”
Brittany graduated with a double major and her grades earned her a place on a Vodafone graduate programme she discovered through He Kākano, a Māori entrepreneurship initiative.
“Otago had given me the skills I needed and helped me get into the programme. If it was not for my time at Otago I would not be where I am today.”
Brittany is now employed by Vodafone as a lead analyst, a position she hopes to hold for a while before heading overseas. “It’s a good industry to be in and I’d like to be able to get similar work in London in the future.”
She credits Otago for helping her succeed. “Education is really valuable. So make the most of your opportunities and don’t be afraid to try different papers. Have fun but do try to keep a good grade average. Studying was my life and it’s paid off.
“My time at Otago made me more independent and allowed me to grow to be myself. It changed my life.”