“With perseverance and effort we are all so much more capable than we think we are!” states Maya Jaros, the winner of the AUT Edge Award Leadership prize sponsored by the Chartered Accountants Australia & New Zealand. Maya received the prize at the AUT Edge Award graduation on 31 July, one of 32 Award graduates honoured for completing their award.
“It’s amazing how you can go from thinking something is going to fail, to just giving it a try. I now know that it is better to try things than worry about the ‘what ifs’!”
Maya has put that philosophy into developing her career. She is now taking a portfolio approach to employment. She has a part time marketing role with Altus Enterprise, is doing an online course on start-ups and is working on other projects such as helping initiate a networking and discussion forum called EBBF NZ (Ethical Business Building the Future) around applying spiritual principles in business and the workplace.
Maya’s biggest leadership contribution was setting up The SoulCafe, a diversity discussion club aimed at bringing people from diverse faculties and backgrounds, cultures and beliefs, together to discuss “life’s big questions” and other relevant topics.
The club grew to over 200 members and continues to be a meaningful space for students to gather. This was a particularly impressive achievement from someone who was initially scared of embarrassing herself by standing out.
Maya also put her leadership skills into action by facilitating weekly meetings and planning and carrying out community service projects for Auckland Baha’i Community youth, including developing their facilitation and team building. As a result of all her leadership and networking, she landed internships with Festival for the Future 2017, Inspiring Stories and Innocent Packaging.
We know it can feel difficult to take on leadership roles and make connections with employers – and that is why Employability and Careers runs Employability Matters each semester. The next event runs next week – 13 – 19 August on City Campus, bringing a diverse range of employers on campus to give presentations, sit on panels, attend career fairs or the volunteering expo and generally network with students.
Three leaders are speaking over the week, including the director of Trade, PR and Major Events from Tourism NZ, Chief Operating Officer from Thankyou and an ex Chief Executive (CEO). They will inspire you with pointers about leadership, resilience, and the importance of humility and wisdom in leadership.
If you are looking for structure to help you start developing leadership and other skills that employers want, take a look at the AUT Edge Award. An increasing number of students are signing up to the Award, a structured programme requiring volunteering, leadership and employability workshops. Aside as gaining amazing experiences that improve their CV and widen their horizons, they also end up with the Award on their academic transcript.
Currently there are 97 AUT Edge Award graduates and over 1500 students enrolled and working at some level within the Award. This semester five industry partners sponsored prizes, including the Leadership prize.
The other prizewinners were Michelle Young (Overall Achiever), Kelly D’Mello (Volunteering), Jerina Grewar (Social Impact) and Johnathan Lopeti (Kingi - Personal Growth).
Caption: Maya Jaros (left) receiving Leadership prize from CAANZ Careers Engagement Consultant Mia Arts