Taking clue from her interest in keeping a scrapbook of news events during a weekend shift at a local newspaper, a young Indian student became certain of her media calling.
Keen to study media, Nilam Patel, applied for and won a prestigious scholarship that will not only see her complete a three-year degree at top-rated Auckland University of Technology, she will also earn a paid holiday work at state-run national broadcaster – TVNZ.
Patel, who lives in New Zealand’s Porirua gained media experience at the local newspaper won the TVNZ Journalism Diversity Scholarship, which is run annually in conjunction with AUT University â€™s Journalism School.
The TVNZ Scholarship, which is valued at more than $30,000, is open to New Zealanders who are of Maori, Pacific Island or Asian ethnicity and meet strong community and media criteria. All fees are paid for during the three-year degree, and paid holiday work is offered at TVNZ.
The scholarship is designed to broaden the scope of the stories that are told and the faces we see on screen, and to better reflect the perspective of all New Zealanders in the news, says TVNZ Head of News and Current Affairs, Anthony Flannery.
Patel was a student at Aotea College when she took part in the schoolâ€™s Gateway programme which introduces students to a variety of working environments.
Her once a week shift at the local paper, Kapi Mana News, and enjoyment of Year 11 Media Studies, sparked a strong interest in journalism.
â€œWe had to keep a scrapbook of news events and I loved it because I could watch the news every day and research what was happening around the world. I felt really on to it,â€ Patel says.
Nilam graduated from Aotea College last year with an award for Academic Excellence in Media Studies, and is now in her first year of a journalism degree at AUT in Auckland.