Alumni Scholarship recipient Briar Evans shines as a student, a leader and a young person who is determined to make a difference in the lives of others.
Approaching her final year of study in 2014, she is completing conjoint Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Laws degrees at the University of Auckland. The first step in her career plan will be to take a graduate position at a large commercial firm, utilising both degrees by focusing on commercial disputes and taxation. She hopes to one day hold a senior management position in a multinational company.
Describing herself as a "keen volunteer", she has held a wide range of roles that contribute to student life and the wider community and has won a University of Auckland Blues Award (Service & Leadership). This year she has been a UniGuide Leader, helping with the organisation of a programme which assists new students with the transition to University life and training and mentoring new UniGuides. She is a weekly Tuakana tutor for Commerce students and a MATES Mentor for high school students who have the potential to succeed but are at risk of underachievement.
She is a member of the Equal Justice Project On-Campus Team and through this role has contributed legal research for the Judicial Accountability Symposium, a paper on the Constitutional Entrenchment of Disability Rights, and a submission on the Constitutional Review. "All of these require a substantial amount of effort but it is very rewarding to see your work published on behalf of the Equal Justice Project," she says.
Briar says that as the recipient of a University of Auckland Alumni Scholarship she has been inspired to make a significant contribution to her community and to try to make a difference in the lives of others. Her volunteering has also had some positive spin-offs for her own development: "It has not only enhanced my leadership skills but it has also enriched my studies."
The University's Alumni Scholarships programme provides assistance to students with high academic attainment, exceptional leadership qualities, and difficult financial circumstances which might otherwise make the difference between being able to study at university or not. Each Alumni Scholar receives $2,500 annually, plus mentoring and networking opportunities.