Students walking through the Quadrangle

Harry Saunderson-WarnerHarry Saunderson-Warner
Bachelor of Arts with Honours (Anthropology)

Studying a subject that made him “look at the world in a different way” changed the course of Harry Saunderson-Warner's career.

Harry chose Otago because it had a reputation for academic excellence, and offered a good variety of subjects.

The former soldier says his family's history of studying at Otago also made it an obvious choice and his experiences at Otago – with its great lecturers and facilities – exceeded his high expectations.

“I loved Dunedin's great atmosphere. I went to rugby games, explored the region's 'great outdoors' – its beaches and bush – and got into fishing and hunting.”

Although Harry initially enrolled in a law degree, taking an anthropology paper out of interest, the subject's complexity and many “fascinating real-world applications” led him to change his programme to a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Anthropology – a decision he hasn't regretted.

“Social anthropology gave me a grounding in communication and research, and the ability to look at the world in a new way.”

Since graduating he has been working in social services, and is currently a Youth Coach working with young people through a kaupapa Māori health organisation, providing support and advice to motivate youth to get involved in, and complete, their NCEA qualifications.

“My studies were great prep for this role.

“We learnt about cultural relativism, which is so relevant to my job. I work with young people who come from many different cultures, and who have an incredibly wide range of values. A huge part of my job involves incorporating goals into each person's unique cultural and value system to help them reach their potential.”

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