Student Stories

“The Keystone Scholarship provides so many benefits that will separate you from the rest”

Shivahni

Student

Why did you decide to take up qualifications in the property sector?

It has always been a goal of mine to make significant contributions to the world, and I know I can do that by becoming involved in the property sector.

I am interested in the way things work, how they are made and how they can be used to benefit the community. Therefore, I chose to study Engineering.
This year at the University of Canterbury I discovered the potential New Zealand has for growing and advancing in the modern world. I am eager to be a part of that by using my Engineering skills in the property sector.

What difference has the Keystone Study Awards made to you?

The Keystone study award has made a huge positive difference for me. The support of the Keystone team helped me feel much more comfortable with taking the next step into beginning my tertiary study.

I have been able to connect directly with people in the industry and go on site visits, helping me learn beyond what is taught to us in the lectures; I’ve been able to see for myself the opportunities there are in the industry and where I could be in the future.

Read more about Shivahni...

What do you think is the key difference of a Keystone Scholarship?

The Keystone scholarship is unique because you really feel supported, and this helped me personally feel more confident in my study.

Secondly, the amount of industry exposure provided to us through site visits, the awards evening and sponsor catch ups is a unique and incredible opportunity – both to make crucial connections through networking and to gain a greater understanding of the industry.

What have been the highlights of your time with us so far?

The Christchurch networking event and sponsor catch ups have been major highlights so far with Keystone. I was able to talk with people experienced in the industry and learn about some of the different projects going on at the time. This allowed me to build my networking skills and gave me insight on the processes of various projects.

 

How have you connected with our sponsor family?

I have been to a Keystone awards evening, sponsor catch up and site visit. At these events I was able to talk to some of the sponsors and was given helpful advice about my studies and future as an Engineer.

 

Tell me about the buddy programme and wingman programme?

The buddy and wingman programmes are exceptional. A wingman is someone in a profession that your current study path could lead to, and buddy is a current student doing the same degree as you. I have become especially connected with my buddy Samantha Morris, her advice and support whenever I needed it has made my first year of tertiary study much easier to manage and understand.

 

Where do you think your qualification might take you?

I think that having an Engineering degree can enable me to work across New Zealand and even overseas. I am determined to one day be a leading engineer on modern constructions and help shape the future of this industry.

 

What would you say to other students thinking of applying for a scholarship?

The Keystone Scholarship provides so many benefits that will separate you from the rest of your cohort at the end of the day. You will make contacts with important leaders in the property and construction industry and get your foot in the door for the future that you want for yourself.

“To have a kick-start into the property sector be making mere thoughts of what the sector is like, to a reality”

Jourdan

Student

Why did you decide to take up qualifications in the property sector?

When I was younger I had always envisioned myself giving back to my local community and on an even broader scale my birth city of Auckland. By choosing to enter the field of Engineering at the University of Canterbury, I hope to be the change I had envisioned years ago and using the skills I gain from studying at tertiary education be able to provide opportunities and expand the growth of the Auckland landscape for the betterment of future generations.

What difference has the Keystone Study Awards made to you?

Being a recipient of this award has made an immense difference on my ability to both study at the University of my choice and be able to form connections in the property sector.  Being able to network with such individuals has enabled me to gain a firm understanding of what the engineering world offers outside of the lecture theatres, and what is to be expected of me once I set foot in the engineering field outside of my University years.

Read more about Jourdan...

What do you think is the key difference of a Keystone Scholarship?

The key difference for me personally is being able to have a kick-start into the property sector by making mere thoughts of what the sector is like, a reality. Being able to go on site tours of different constructed buildings such as Christchurch Boys High School and the Cathedral here in Christchurch has allowed me to get a taste of what it’s like to be a part of this sector. That in my opinion has been a key difference that this scholarship has made in my transition from school life to my first year of University.

What have been the highlights of your time with us so far?

The highlights from the past year have been numerous, however the main highlight for me has to be the awards evening night of 2016. At this awards evening, I was presented to a crowd of people who were all high up in the property sector. This evening was a very nerve-raking experience to begin with, however as the night progressed it became easier to interact with those who had turned up to support the evening. Being able to introduce myself and communicate to people who know the property sector inside out was a very insightful experience which set the tone for many more enjoyable Keystone Trust events to come.

How have you connected with our sponsor family?

I have made a number of networking connections with sponsors by organising with my keystone buddy to go meet key members of organisations and have a chat to these people about the construction/engineering side of the property sector. I have also frequently attended all site visits in Christchurch and have attended the awards evening; connecting with many ambassadors and spokespeople from multiple companies that comprise of the sponsor family, along the way.

Tell me about the buddy programme and wingman programme?

At the start of the year I was assigned a buddy by Keystone. My buddy Mitch was a fourth year student studying towards the same degree in engineering who had a strong grasp of the qualification. By assigning me a buddy, I was able to have a much smoother transition into the Engineering lifestyle down here in Canterbury, meaning the feeling of being thrown into the deep end turned out to be far more manageable than previously thought to be.

Where do you think your qualification might take you?

At the end of my degree in engineering I hope to work back up in Auckland for a few years and potentially travel overseas to work on substantially large projects with international engineering firms. My goals are to achieve great things in the field of engineering and work towards forming a better, more sustainable environment so others are able to enjoy the current state of the New Zealand in the future.

What would you say to other students thinking of applying for a scholarship?

Apply. This scholarship has allowed me to achieve numerous goals throughout the course of the year whether it be through meeting renowned engineers, visiting construction sites of historic landmarks or even helping in a financial sense to afford the cost of living down in Christchurch. By applying for this scholarship you not only receive the scholarship but also become a part of a family. So without a doubt, it shouldn’t be whether you should apply, it should be a case of when you’re going to apply.

“If you are looking for a supportive whanau with experience and expertise that is second to none, then the Keystone whanau is for you”

Gabe

Student

Why did you decide to take up qualifications in the property sector?

I chose to do qualification in the property sector because I believed it would give me the opportunity to reach one of my goals of helping Maori communities better understand the opportunities they may have in utilizing one of their greatest resources which is their Whenua (Land) and to hopefully be a part of the solution to our nation’s housing crisis.

What difference has the Keystone Study Awards made to you?

Receiving this award has created countless opportunities for me to see the inner workings of construction at various levels the end results which give the necessary incentive to do my best with my study at Auckland University.

Read more about Gabe...

What do you think is the key difference of a Keystone Scholarship?

One of the key differences that makes the Keystone Scholarship so unique is the variety of support within the industry with tuakana in University who are always more than willing to help alongside of the alumni and mentors that help you find a balance in university life.

What have been the Highlights of your time with us so far?

If I had to choose a Highlight with the Keystone whanau for the year I would have to say the Awards Evening was extra special. It was quite an experience to see the whanau together from the Alumni, current students & new recipients, and this made me feel very fortunate to be a part of the Keystone Family.

Tell me about the buddy programme and wingman programme?

This year I was fortunate to be partnered with James who is one of the older property students.  Together we got the opportunity to organise meetings with sponsors of Keystone to provide us both with a real world look and an insight to what it takes to be successful in this industry.

Where do you think your qualification might take you?

My qualification will be used to both influence and contribute to my communities (Maori and Pasifka), My hope is that it leads to employment in the industry to continue to learn then home to make a difference.

What would you say to other students thinking of applying for a Scholarship?

To the prospective scholarship hopefuls, I would simply say give it a go!! If you are looking for a supportive whanau group with experience and expertise that is second to none then the Keystone Whanau is for you.

“without these programs my university experience would have been much more stressful!”

Caleb

Student

Why did you decide to take up qualifications in the property sector?

I decided to endeavour into the world of surveying for a number of reasons. Firstly, I thoroughly enjoy the challenges involved with the career and see it as a great way to combine both indoor and outdoor components. I also see working in the surveying industry as a tremendous opportunity to help change and develop New Zealand’s property industry in the future.

What difference has the Keystone Study Awards made to you?

For me, having the Keystone Study Award has given me an amazing support group that has allowed me to thrive in my first year at university. The buddy programme in particular has given me a close relationship with another student in my degree, which has helped me enormously.

Read more about Caleb...

What do you think is the key difference of a Keystone Scholarship?

As I mentioned above, the support system you get with Keystone is unparalleled with any other scholarship. On top of this, the opportunities you receive, and relationships you make directly with the sponsor family is incredible.

What have been the Highlights of your time with us so far?

Personally, my highlights so far have been the various site visits around the country. They gave a great real-world perspective on the property industry and allowed us to see places that very few others get to see.

How have you connected with our sponsor family?

I have connected with the sponsor family at network evenings where I have found out extremely interesting things about various companies, and also had the chance to exchange business cards with industry professionals. This will allow me to have a foot in the door of the surveying industry before I even graduate!

Tell me about the buddy programme and wingman programme?

The buddy and wingman programs have helped me more times than I can count throughout my first year of university. The ability to contact my buddy/mentor with any problems or concerns I might have, or even to just catch up has been outstanding. I think it’s safe to say, without these programs my university experience would have been much more stressful!

Where do you think your qualification might take you?

With a Bachelor of Surveying, I believe I could obtain a job not only throughout New Zealand, but also throughout the world. Eventually I would like to work in New Zealand and give back to the Keystone Trust which has done so much for me.

What would you say to other students thinking of applying for a Scholarship?

All I can really say to anyone who is thinking of applying for this scholarship is, DO IT. The Keystone family is amazing and you won’t regret applying! I can guarantee you there are no other scholarships in New Zealand that offer the same amount of support and opportunities that Keystone do. You have nothing to lose, so why not apply? 

“I gain a first-hand experience of what my day as a future Project Manager would look like”

Lilli

Student

Why did you decide to take up qualifications in the property sector?

I always knew that I would take a career in the property industry, whether it be architectural studies or where I currently am heading; Building Science.

I have always been a creative person but I would consider myself logical thinker at the same time, so as I applied for university a Bachelor of Building Science seemed to attract me the most, and doing a double major of Project Management and Sustainable Engineering Systems is the most appropriate for my interests.

What difference has the Keystone Study Awards made to you?

Being a part of the Keystone family has benefitted me in so many ways during my first year of studies.

The monetary side of the award has been an exceptional help in funding my studies in Wellington, and the support we receive has been an amazing experience.

I have gained a lot of confidence and reassurance throughout the year from many different professionals through networking and one on one sponsor catch-ups, and Victoria and the Keystone family are always there if you face any obstacles along your way.

Read more about Lilli...

What do you think is the key difference of a Keystone Scholarship?

I believe the key difference between my Keystone scholarship and other scholarships is the value of being able to network with professionals and also the site visits we participate in. For me personally, the site visits are extremely valuable as I gain a first-hand experience of what my day as a future Project Manager would look like

What have been the Highlights of your time with us so far?

My highlights have definitely been the site visits as I have gained so much from them. Being able to connect your knowledge you learn in a lecture to a real-life project is extremely valuable and beneficial.

How have you connected with our sponsor family?

I have connected with the sponsor family through networking events and through sponsor catch-ups, where we have the opportunity to learn what a classic day in their profession would look like.

Tell me about the buddy programme and wingman programme?

The buddy and wingman programme allow you to have someone constantly at your side who can advise and mentor you whenever you need. My buddy has been an amazing help this year and is always looking out for me, whether it be looking over my projects or advising me through some of the struggles that occur while studying.

Where do you think your qualification might take you?

At this stage it’s hard to tell where I will eventually go with my degree as there are so many career opportunities to take on. For now, I am remaining open to everything throughout my studies and am going to make the most out of my experience with Keystone.

What would you say to other students thinking of applying for a Scholarship?

I 100% encourage students who are looking to study in the property industry to apply for this scholarship as it is so advantageous for your studies. The people you will meet and the opportunities you will be presented are incredibly valuable and The consistent support behind you will set you up for a very successful future.

“Keystone trust becomes your second family who truly do care for your well-being and your success for the future”

Anntonina

Student

Why did you decide to take up qualifications in the property sector?

Growing up in South Auckland has exposed me to much architecturally inadequate housing which had developed my passion and interest in the design and structure of buildings. The housing crisis that New Zealand faces means that people renting are unable to afford and move into better quality homes and many families are falling into a poverty cycle because of it. This increasing problem has motivated me to take up a qualification in the property sector and to follow my dream of designing and building sustainable and affordable houses for those who are in need both within and outside of New Zealand.

 What difference has the keystone study awards made to you?

It has benefited me in many ways such as being able to converse and learn from people who are also passionate about their careers as project managers. I had begun this year with little knowledge of roles within the property industry and yes although studying a property degree this year has exposed me to some, keystone has exposed me to more and has given us the experience and chance to interact with these people.

Read more about Anntonina...

What do you think is the key difference of a keystone scholarship?

Aside from being financially supported, the trust ensures that we students are taken care of and that we succeed in reaching our goal. I believe that without the trusts support and guidance this year my experience of being away from home and living in a new environment would have been lonely and difficult. Key difference of this scholarship, the keystone trust becomes your second family who truly do care for your well-being and your success for the future.

 What have been the highlights of your time with us so far?

Highlights this year would be the sponsor catch ups as it has enabled me to understand more and have an insight of roles within the property industry and the impact they have within the property sector.

How have you connected with our sponsor family?

Networking evenings and sponsor catch ups has allowed me to meet important and influential people within the industry, giving me not only advice with my studies but how the property industry operates.

Tell me about the buddy programme and wingman programme?

The buddy and wingman programme pair you with a keystone recipient studying a similar degree as yourself, becoming your mentor that gives you tips and work/life advices which I am very grateful for as they sure come handy in times of word blocks and decision making on big assignments.

Where do you think your qualification might take you?

Either working alongside or in a leading role in an organisation which help in reducing the housing crisis within and outside of New Zealand.

What would you say to other students thinking of applying for a scholarship?

You will never know unless you try. The experience and opportunities you will receive is one that many others could only dream of. Being taken care under the wing of an influential organisation is an opportunity not to be missed.

“They are always going the extra mile”

Blake

Student

Why did you decide to take up qualifications in the property sector?

Since a young age I have always had a passion for property. My passion originated from my two older brothers doing carpentry and running their own businesses. However, as I grew older I discovered that I did not wish to do the heavy, physical labour of carpentry because I figured that the mind can last a lot longer than the body. After researching through different career paths I discovered that a Property/Commerce Degree was the ideal study path for myself.

What difference has the Keystone Study Awards made to you?

At first when I applied for the Keystone Study Award I thought that the money side was the most important, however I have come to realise after this year that the events and opportunities that are provided to us on a regular basis are far more important. This factor of the scholarship has allowed me to meet many significant figures in the property industry, who are always willing to assist and provide advice, for this I am truly grateful.

Read more about Blake...

What do you think is the key difference of a Keystone Scholarship?

Definitely the family like atmosphere, Keystone do not just hand you money and walk away like other scholarships, they are always going the extra mile to sustain the well being of the students. This factor was very helpful on my move to Auckland and helped me settle into the big city much easier.

What have been the highlights of your time with us so far?

Throughout this year I have attended almost all of the keystone events, which I have enjoyed thoroughly. By far, one of my favourite events of the year would be the quiz night, due to the fact that I was able to communicate with these people from the industry in a much more casual and fun environment.

How have you connected with our sponsor family?

Personally I have connected great with the sponsorship family, they have all been very supportive in my journey and I have made some great friendships along the way.

 Tell me about the buddy programme and wingman programme?

I used both the buddy and wingman programme frequently this year and it allowed me to obtain knowledge from those who have much more wisdom in certain areas then myself. These people were constantly providing advice which in some cases would have otherwise been very difficult to find.

Where do you think your qualification might take you?

For me personally I aspire to make adequate use of both the property and commerce sides of my degree in the future, with my current ambitions I hope to be either working in property management or Agency.

What would you say to other students thinking of applying for a scholarship?

I would encourage these students to strive as hard as they can to apply for this scholarship because it truly is life changing. The way keystone are able to assist in your learning and provide opportunities is like no other. I can confidently say there is no other scholarship that  compares to this.

Our sponsor family