Feel the fear

26 Mar, 2018
 
Stepping into the unknown drives success, says top scholar.

Stepping into the unknown drives success, says top scholar.

Taking a risk – and sometimes failing – has rewarded PhD candidate Marian Makkar with the courage to push harder into the unknown.

Speaking at an event to recognise the Business School’s top scholars of 2017, Marian said it was the tough times that have taught her the most.

Marian, who came to New Zealand from the Middle East six years ago with her husband and two children, said the past few years have been filled with challenges – from starting afresh without the support of family and friends, switching from a PR career to postgraduate study, to starting a business based on her PhD research into collaborative online platforms, and then making the call to shutter the company.

Marian said that even though she and her husband poured their heart and soul into the technology start-up – he left full-time work to focus on the project – and it was beginning to attract customers, they made a decision to quit early.

“It took a lot of courage to admit failure, but we are big believers that if we had never tried we would have never known what it’s like to start a business.

“We don’t ever see it as failure, but experience and learning. Since then we have started approaching projects with a different entrepreneurial mindset, and learnt to work and deal with others just like a start-up – agile and flexible,” said Marian.

Her words of advice to the Business School’s top graduates was not to be afraid of the unknown, to take risks but start taking them sooner rather than later.

She also warned against feeling like an imposter and doubting your ability. Even though she has won numerous awards for her research work she regularly needed to remind herself that she wasn’t a fraud and that she had done the hard work to get where she is now.

“And one last piece of advice that I’d like to give you is to never stop learning and building on the knowledge you gained at AUT,” said Marian.

Dean of the Faculty of Business, Economics and Law, Professor Kate Kearins, congratulated all the Business School’s top graduates on their achievement.

“They epitomise the AUT brand of a “great graduate” – well-rounded, inquiring, an agile thinker, a great communicator with specialist knowledge and skills, and a broad understanding of the changing world.”

As well as being smart and hardworking, the cohort were also diverse, she said.

“With different ethnicities and nationalities they bring new ideas and perspectives to the table – something the world is increasingly ready for.”

Undergraduate Awards

Jessica Furmanski: Top overall graduate in the Bachelor of Business and top graduate inthe Bachelor of Business in Market Insights: Marketing, Advertising, Retailing, Sales

Liam Bates: Top Māori graduate in the Bachelor of Business

Reuben Ng: Top Pacific graduate in the Bachelor of Business

Viny Micella Valente: Top International graduate in the Bachelor of Business

Luke O’Donovan: Top graduate in the Bachelor of Business in Accounting

Alexandria Charslund: Top graduate in the Bachelor of Business in Advertising

Lung Fai Lo: Top graduate in the Bachelor of Business in Business Information Systems

Isabelle Stangl: Top graduate in the Bachelor of Business in Co-operative Education

Xueying Zhang: Top graduate in the Bachelor of Business in Economics and top graduate in the Bachelor of Business in Finance

Nina Wieland: Top graduate in the Bachelor of Business in International Business

Jade Bradley: Top equal graduate in the Bachelor of Business in Human Resource Management and Employment Relations

Jacob Barker: Top equal graduate in the Bachelor of Business in Human Resource Management and Employment Relations and top equal graduate in the Bachelor of Business in Marketing

Cameron Robinson: Top equal graduate in the Bachelor of Business in Marketing

Eva Godnjavec: Top graduate in the Bachelor of Business in Management

Postgraduate Awards

Lucian Plaumann: Top graduate in the Bachelor of Business (Honours)

Ellie Descatoires: Top equal graduate in the Master of Business

James Barnett: Top equal graduate in the Master of Business

Hailey Feilo:  Top Pacific graduate in the Master of Business

Xianrui Zeng: Top International graduate in the Master of Business

Louise von Sierakowski: Top graduate in the Master of Business Administration (MBA)

Thomas Heywood: Top graduate in the Master of Applied Finance

Jabir Al Mursalin: Top graduate in the Master of Global Business

Yanfei Lian: Top graduate in the Master of Marketing

Sarah Postill: Top graduate in the Master of Professional Accounting