Prize for research into kid influencers

11 Aug, 2022
Irmine Kabimbi Ngoy wins BGS prize
Irmine Kabimbi Ngoy (pictured in red coat) wins BGS prize

Congratulations to AUT Business School PhD candidate Irmine Kabimbi Ngoy, who has been awarded the Beta Gamma Sigma New Zealand Alumni Committee scholarship.

Irmine is the third AUT recipient of the $1000 award, which was established three years ago and aims to support postgraduate study.

Scholarships represent one of Beta Gamma Sigma’s core values – to encourage continued learning. The scholarship was open to all BGS alumni members who are currently studying at AUT and the University of Auckland.

Irmine Kabimbi Ngoy is originally from The Democratic Republic of Congo. She completed her AUT Bachelor in Business (majoring in Management and Marketing) and went on to earn Honours.

Irmine was inducted into the Beta Gamma Sigma Honorary Society as an alumnus of AUT in 2019.

Irmine’s area of research is topical yet largely unexamined – it focuses on child and mummy social media influencers and what policies exist to protect children and their rights in the digital sphere.

We had the pleasure of chatting with Irmine about her research.

Congratulations on receiving the 2022 BGS NZ Scholarship. Where do you see your PhD research making an impact?

My research will deepen our understanding of the role of children who are influencers. Although the so-called kidfluencer industry is booming, we don't know much about the implications of being a kidfluencer. My research will stimulate other scholars to investigate this phenomenon and encourage policymakers to implement legislation that safeguards and empowers online child stars.

The values of the BGS society are honour and integrity, pursuit of wisdom, earnestness and service. How do you reflect these core values?

The pursuit of wisdom has been evident in my desire to further my education. Being able to share my knowledge to help others and make an impact is essential to me. Serving in my community is something I've been taught since I was a child, as some lifelong skills and values can enhance your character by simply giving back to others.

Completing a PhD will help me open doors to make an impact on the world, specifically for children. In addition, the award will enhance my skills for my PhD (i.e., data collection/analysis), help me produce quality outputs, increase my career opportunities (i.e., becoming a policymaker), and give a little back to my single mother. She has sacrificed a lot for me to get to this point.

Where to from here?

I still have a few years remaining in my PhD programme, so I'm continuing to get my research published and looking to work at an organisation that focuses on protecting and empowering children on social media platforms.

Postgraduate endorsement

Associate Professor Crystal Yap (Marketing) is Irmine’s PhD supervisor. She applauds Irmine’s commitment to doing research that matters.

“Irmine’s passion for making a social impact through her research is inspiring. I’m proud to witness Irmine’s growth as a student over the years, personally and academically.”

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