Fono gives students a look at study options
A career in business was something Gloria Wendt had never considered.
But a day at Unitec has given the St Mary’s College student a lot to think about.
The 17-year-old was among students from around Auckland who attended a Pasifika Business Fono at Unitec this week.
The event aims to encourage year 13 Pasifi students to study business and think about starting up their own companies in the future.
Over the two-day event students listened to guest speakers before creating a company and designing a product.
Gloria says the event opened up her eyes to new opportunities.
“There’s not that many Pacific Island people in business but hearing from people who started their own business inspired me to think if they can do it, then of course we can,” she says.
“It gives us hope of being successful and that’s pretty cool.”
This year is Unitec’s second Pasifika Business Fono. Students from 10 schools around Auckland were invited to attend. They took part in workshops and group activities before coming up with their own ideas for a company and devising a product.
Unitec Pasifika liaison Terri Leo-Mauu says the fono is a chance for Pasifika students to see what Unitec can offer.
“We want to encourage Pacific Island students into business and inspire them to look at it as a career,” she says.
Epsom Girls Grammar student Angelina Akavola, 17, says it was good to hear about Pacifi Islanders who have been successful in business.
“To be around people who have been in business helps us to see career options for the future,” she says. “Not many Pacific Islanders start a business on their own so it is good to see what it would be like.”
Big business: Students Teare Tuataa, 17, Angelina Akavola, 17, Unitec Pasifika liason Terri Leo-Mauu, Gloria Wendt, 17, and Maggie Lega’aie, 18. The students took part in a Pasifika Business Fono held at Unitec.