Scholarship winner thrilled with opportunityAccounting student Angela Ngataki wins NZICA’s Ng-a Raumanako M-aori Scholarship as she pursues her dream of becoming a chartered accountant.
Angela Ngataki describes herself as a “second chance learner”.
The accounting student has just won the NZICA Leading Light Nga Raumanako Maori Scholarship, and is on track to fulfilling her dream of becoming a chartered accountant.
When Ngataki left school she went straight to work for more than a decade, eventually establishing a small business.
“Although I had some level of success I also experienced real-life financial difficulties.”
This taught her the importance of finance and accounting knowledge.
Ngataki says this life experience strengthened her commitment and focus as she started university.
Study motivates her to get up in the morning.
“When times get tough, I look up and I see the buildings I hope to work in one day. I look down and see nothing but the ground. It reminds me which way I am going and I tell myself ‘I can do this’.”
Ngataki, whose curriculum vitae includes two years as a soldier, says accounting principles align with her own.
“I’m reliable and I like information to be relevant to me. I’m consistent, prudent and feel great when life is in balance.”
She took accounting in year 11 at school, but found it very challenging.
“It wasn’t until I stepped into the real world and developed a practical understanding that I found my niche.”
AUT University awarded her the 2010 Bachelor of Business Student prize, as their top first-year student.
“The award has been a significant achievement for me, my highest achievement ever. I think what sets me apart is that I am very determined.
“Whatever I set out to achieve, I achieve to the best of my ability.”
Ngataki is also strengthening her cultural identity. She currently mentors M-aori students, providing encouragement and support.
“They just need strong role models to lead the way for them.”
The experience has prompted a desire to learn te reo M-aori.
Ngataki says she is thrilled to win the $5000 Ng-a Raumanako M-aori scholarship and the money will help ease financial difficulties.
But for her, the summer internship with a M-aori Accountants Network accounting firm partner, which is part of the award, is of greater value.
She says it will be an excellent introduction to the accounting profession.
"This will help advance my accounting career as practical skills are priceless. This is where I’ll receive reputable training, encouragement, work and cultural diversity, and be surrounded by astounding role models.”
She hopes to one day work as a chartered accountant with one of the big firms, eventually becoming a chief financial officer.
Ngataki was awarded her scholarship at the Ng-a Kaitatau M-aori o Aotearoa (the National M-aori Accountants Network) annual conference, or Hui-a-Tau, in Rotorua in August.
Spokesman Joe Hanita says the hui attracted more than 180 delegates.
The theme was Beyond Treaty Settlements, with Sir Tipene O’Regan as keynote speaker.
Hanita says the main message of the two-day event was that the network’s accounting professionals need to be leaders in their respective technical fields of expertise.
“We were encouraged to participate in the areas of setting accounting standards, in particular how treaty settlements assets are recognised and valued in a set of financial statements.
“And to become more visual to the public, both as a group and as individuals.”
30 August 2011