“I like being able to say what I think and to work collaboratively. When we work in groups at school everyone has different ideas, so we can share our ideas with others.”
“The New Zealand education system is very practical. It’s different to the style of education we have in my country, so now I have the benefits of both education systems.”
James says studying in New Zealand also made him independent and self-reliant, more able to look after himself and stay focused on his goals.
James got involved in the t-shirt project in his business studies class. The class took part in a national enterprise programme that helps students develop real-world business skills to prepare them for the fast-changing future of work.
Students work in teams to set up a business, create their own product or service and take it to market. They develop business plans and marketing plans, and are mentored by business leaders.
James’s team came up with their t-shirt idea and sent a proposal to Swanndri. The company said it would be happy to help, and its general manager came to the school to speak to the team.
“It’s much easier to talk to people in business in New Zealand, even if you’re just a student,” says James.
As marketing director, James’s role was to promote the t-shirt through social media. In the photo above, James is discussing the project with some of his fellow team members.
James next step is to study for a Bachelor of Commerce, majoring in management, at the University of Auckland.
And while the Swanndri project was James’ first business venture, it’s unlikely to be the last. His long-term aim is to work in the corporate world for four years after graduating, and then create his own start-up.
“Studying at school in New Zealand is setting me up for a good future,” he says.