Before Sofie Heaphy graduated from AUT with her Bachelor of Health Science in Paramedicine she had already organised a student paramedic conference, volunteered for St John, acted as the New Zealand representative for Student Paramedics Australasia and co-ordinated a month-long volunteer trip to provide medical assistance in clinics in Peru.
“I helped organise a trip for 13 students from our year to go to Peru where we volunteered for a month working in clinics and villages, giving free medical help to some people who had never seen a doctor in their lives.
“It was an eye-opener to how lucky we are in New Zealand and it helped develop our people skills with patients who spoke no English.”
Sofie was already involved in a number of extracurricular opportunities at university when she realised her volunteering and leadership activities could help her earn the AUT Edge Award, alongside her paramedicine degree.
To gain an AUT Edge Award, students must complete four components: volunteering (50 hours), leadership or challenge (18 hours), employability workshops and a reflection on the experiences.
“AUT developed the AUT Edge Award to encourage students to get involved with opportunities outside the classroom because real-life experiences give graduates an incredible edge with prospective employers,” says Anna Williams, director of Student Employability.
Now working as an emergency medical technician for St John, and about to embark on her internship to become a paramedic, Sofie says the AUT Edge Award helped her land her dream job.
“The workshops on how to make the perfect CV, cover letter and LinkedIn profile were extremely helpful. The Employability team were always available to help and I was confident going into my interviews.”
Sofie says working toward the AUT Edge Award encouraged her to take part in some amazing experiences and it looks great on her CV.
“I’ve done something different to my peers and put myself out there to increase my chances of having a successful future.”