Massey Business School Pro Vice-Chancellor Ted Zorn with Lily Wheatley and Gabrielle Isaak (Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade)

Lily Wheatley

Bachelor of Applied Economics

Ministry award for top Pasifika student

A passion and talent for economics has resulted in Solomon Islands student Lily Wheatley receiving a New Zealand Pacific Highest Achiever Award from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Ms Wheatley, who completed her Bachelor of Applied Economics with the Massey Business School at the end of 2014 and is doing honours this year, was presented with the award at a special ceremony in the Russell Room, Wharerata, on the Manawatū campus on Thursday.

She says the award has enabled her not only to continue studying in her chosen field in New Zealand, but will increase her opportunities to contribute to economic development in her home country.

As well as studying in New Zealand, she’s enjoyed and learned from a wealth of extra-curricular activities – including as a mentor with the Manatoa (a mentoring and leadership programme run by Pasifika@Massey, matching senior Pasifika students with first year students), as treasurer for the PI (Pacific Island) Club and volunteering with the Green Shirt Massey Guides during Orientation at the start of each semester.

The 22-year-old A-grade student says the chance to get involved in team, club and social events has been a significant part of the learning experience at university, enabling her to develop useful interpersonal skills, confidence and lifelong friendships.

“It’s about being able to meet many people from different backgrounds,” she says. “Palmerston North is a great environment and a fantastic student city.”

Moving from Honiara to Palmerston North presented some challenges initially, she says, from cultural and climatic adjustment to developing the strong organisational skills needed to cope with academic workloads and expectations.

She is considering postgraduate study in the future, but is keen to put her academic knowledge into practical use when she returns home at the end of the year. She plans to seek work in the fisheries sector in natural resource management at the interface between the environment and economics.

Her award, administered by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, is worth $1500. Ms Wheatley was also on the 2012 College of Business Dean’s List.

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