Student Stories

“I feel privileged and lucky to attend all Keystone events, the site visits, talking to my mentor and meeting the Keystone family.”

Christelle

Student

What are you studying, and why did you choose it?

I am studying the Bachelor of Architecture at Unitec, I chose to study architecture because I love designing, creating and drawing. Since I came to New Zealand my interest in building has increased and I was thrilled to know more. That’s why I decided to study architecture. 

What difference has the Keystone Study Award made to you?

Being a Keystone student helped me a lot both financially and emotionally. Through my first year I had some ups and downs which affected me emotionally, getting a chance to attend Kyle’s workshops and talking to Victoria really helped a lot. I feel privileged and lucky to attend all Keystone events, the site visits, talking to my mentor and meeting the Keystone family.

Read more about Christelle...

What is your favourite memory with Keystone so far?

It hard to pick my favourite Keystone Event because I had a great time attending every single one of them and I learnt a lot, but Kyle’s workshops will always be my favourite they had a big impact on my life, I am very grateful.

How have you connected with our sponsor family?

My first time meeting the Keystone sponsor family I was nervous I didn’t know what to say to them, then I came to realize that the sponsors are actually nice and they are easy to talk too, they talk to us like their own family.

Why is the Keystone Scholarship different to other scholarships?

The Keystone scholarship is a scholarship like no other because they don’t only help financially they help us throughout our careers they make us dream big by connecting us with the sponsors and taking us to big site visits to gives us a clear picture of what we will be doing after our studies. They check up on us to make sure we are on the right track. They Organize fun Keystone events throughout the year.

What are you looking forward to in 2020?

I am looking forward to starting a new year with Keystone and to meeting the new Keystone students. I can’t wait to see what Keystone has in store for us in 2020.

What advice would you give for other students applying for a scholarship?

My advice to new students applying for a scholarship: when applying for a scholarship aim for a scholarship that will help you throughout your career like Keystone Trust.

“With Keystone, you become part of a family for life, who are with you for every step of your journey into the property industry.”

Lucy

Student

What are you studying, and why did you choose it?

I am currently studying a Bachelor of Urban Planning (Honours) at the University of Auckland. I chose to study urban planning as I have always been interested in the designing and planning of urban spaces and was looking for a career that would allow me to create positive change within my community.

What difference has the Keystone Study Award made to you?

Receiving the Keystone Study Award has made a huge difference to me. Since becoming a part of the Keystone family, I have been exposed to many facets of the property industry and have been able to network with those working in the sector. Through the Trust, I have been fortunate enough to experience a wide variety of amazing opportunities, which have further inspired and fuelled my excitement about entering the industry. I am so grateful to the Trust, who are incredibly supportive and have allowed me to get a head start in life. Simply put, receiving this award has been a life changing experience.

Read more about Lucy...

What is your favourite memory with Keystone so far?

My favourite memories would have to be the site visits Keystone set up with its sponsor family. It is fascinating to see the ‘behind the scenes’ of construction projects at various stages of completion, and to be able to talk to the minds behind such amazing projects. 

How have you connected with our sponsor family?

I’m currently fortunate enough to be working with one of Keystone’s sponsors as an intern, giving me insight into what it is like to work in the property industry. Further, I have enjoyed networking with various sponsors at different Keystone Events. 

Why is the Keystone Scholarship different to other scholarships?

The Keystone Study Award is unlike any scholarship that I have come across. The support and guidance that Keystone gives, and the events they organise, are invaluable. With Keystone, you become part of a family for life, who are with you for every step of your journey into the property industry.

What are you looking forward to in 2020?

I am looking forward to entering my second year of urban planning, learning more about the industry, meeting new people, and attending more Keystone events. 

What advice would you give for other students applying for a scholarship?

Take your time crafting and completing your application, to ensure that it shows your passion and drive for the area of the property industry you are interested in. Most importantly, be confident and be yourself.

“The programme helped me settle into University and helped me become more confident with my studies”

Asalemo

Student

What are you studying, and why did you choose it?

I am studying a Bachelor of Engineering. I chose to study Engineering as I felt it was the best way I could give back to my community and my family. I wish to help families who are without houses and to fulfill my dream of building both my grandparents’ homes back in Samoa.

What difference has the Keystone Study Award made to you?

The Keystone Trust Study Award made the difference to me not only academically but also in regards to work. Throughout the year I had university support through my buddy and wingman, and I was able to attend events such as the sponsor showcases, speed networking and site visit. These gave me some more options of what I could do in the future. Being a Keystone student makes me a step ahead in front of everyone else.

Read more about Asalemo...

What is your favourite memory with Keystone so far?

My favourite memory with Keystone this past year was meeting all the people involved with the Trust during the Awards Evening, particularly my first in 2017. Hearing the alumni talk about their experiences with Keystone and how it has really benefitted them by providing a foot in the door in the property industry. They also talked about how you gain a second family. The welcoming and family environment of that night was when I knew that it the best decision I have ever made and that is why it’s my favourite memory so far.

How have connected with our sponsor family?

I am currently working with Dominion Constructors Ltd, who are a sponsor. I have learnt so much in the weeks I have been with them and truly grateful for the opportunity to work alongside a team with so much experience and knowledge.

Why is the Keystone scholarship different to other scholarships?

The Keystone Scholarship is different from other scholarships as it provides opportunities to attend events throughout the year. These events allow us see the different pathways that we could pursue in the industry and give us the chance to connect with the sponsors. The Keystone Scholarship also gave me the opportunity to work in the industry and experience first hand what I could potentially be doing in the future.

What have you gained from the buddy and wingman programme?

The buddy programme has helped me a lot this year as I was able to learn from my buddy’s past experiences. They also taught me how to overcome the university obstacles that I encounter. The programme helped me settle in to university and helped me become more confident with my studies.

What are you looking forward to in 2019?

In 2019 I am looking forward to the second year of my studies and all that it holds for me. I am also looking forward to meeting new people and hearing the different stories and backgrounds of people involved within the industry.

What advice would you give for other students applying for the keystone scholarship?

Applying for the Keystone scholarship was the best decision I ever made. My advice for future students is that Keystone isn’t just about money – it’s about the support that’s always there for you and all the opportunities that Keystone offers with sponsor showcases, site visits and the chance to connect with people in the industry

“The mentoring behind this scholarship is worth a lot more than the money”

Briar

Student

What are you studying, and why did you choose it?

I am currently studying a land and property management degree at Lincoln University. I chose this degree as I am interested and passionate about the property industry throughout New Zealand. I also picked this degree as it covers a very broad range within the industry, giving myself the opportunity to work amongst all departments throughout.

What difference has the Keystone Study Award made to you?

I don’t think there is one word that can possibly describe the huge amount of support and love that Keystone gives. The Keystone Study Award has enabled me to believe in myself and go after what I want to achieve. Throughout this year, Keystone has helped me secure an amazing internship over summer, giving me experience and opportunities throughout the industry. Of course, Keystone Trust has supported me in attending University, with financial and emotional support and mentoring. I am still in shock that I am a part of an amazing programme and forever thankful.

Read more about Briar...

What is your favourite memory with Keystone so far?

My favourite memory with Keystone was the Awards Evening that is presented in Auckland. This is a time to get together with the other students and catch up. The relationships built among Keystone is one of a kind. Also, the refreshments provided at the awards night are always a delightful bonus.

How have you connected with our sponsor family?

I am currently working with one of the sponsor families as an intern over summer, which is an amazing opportunity.

Why is the Keystone Scholarship different to other scholarships?

The financial support that the Keystone scholarship provides is amazing but the mentoring and support behind this scholarship is worth a lot more than money. The ongoing visits and check-ins don’t go unnoticed and having someone constantly believing in you doesn’t quite compare to anything else. The social events are incredible as they opportunity to meet people in the industry and gain knowledge as well as possible future networks.

What have you gained from the buddy and wingman programme?

Having a university buddy is an amazing support system. Knowing you have someone who has gone through similar things on hand whenever is great.

What are you looking forward to in 2019?

I am looking forward to specialising more in depth with my degree. Alongside this, there are many personal goals I am looking to achieve in 2019.

What advice would you give for other students applying for a scholarship?

You must absolutely apply as you never know where it can take you. I never expected to receive this scholarship but now I am so glad that I took a chance.

“They are always there for a chat if you’re struggling or just need someone to talk to”

Ethan

Student

What are you studying, and why did you choose it?

I’m studying a Bachelor of Engineering (Hons.) I chose this degree as it involves subjects I am good at and enjoy such as physics, calculus and geography. It also allows me to be a part of the creative process through which an idea can be made into a physical reality through drawings, consultation and development.

What difference has the Keystone Study Award made to you?

The Keystone Trust Study Award has made a significant to my life as it has brought me into the Keystone family! It’s comforting yet motivating to have others outside of your immediate family that care about your academics and your wellbeing and I’m incredibly appreciative of all the opportunities I have been offered. Financially, Keystone has taken a huge stress away, as I can focus entirely on my studies rather than having to work other jobs.

Read more about Ethan...

What is your favourite memory with Keystone so far?

Attending the AECOM showcase was good as it really opened my eyes to the vast opportunities available for engineers in their company, and I am now interested in pursuing an internship with them in the future. Also, having a yarn with Sam Wallace the weather man at the 2018 Awards Evening was great. He seemed very interested in my story, and it resulted in a shoutout during his speech at the awards.

How have you connected with our sponsor family?

I had my sponsor catch up with Simone from AECOM who is also the head of the Alumni committee. We had a long chat about what her professional life entailed and how she got there, and talked about the transition from study to working life. I have also interacted with sponsors at events such as the speed networking evening.

Why is the Keystone Scholarship different to other scholarships?

The Keystone scholarship offers much more than just the financial help that most scholarships boast even though Keystone was one of the most significant financial scholarships I came across. The perks of the scholarship are the three ladies working for the Trust and it really shows through all the events and opportunities all the students are invited to. If there is anything you need that is related to your studies such as jobs, internships, or contacts Victoria, Louella and Jenny sort it out. They are always there for a chat if you’re struggling or just need someone to talk to.

What have you gained from the buddy and wingman programme?

The buddy and wingman programmes have allowed me to feel more involved and a part of the Trust over the year. I feel that the initiative advocated friendliness, mentoring and was the start of a few great friendships. My buddy Brad has done a great job this year of explaining the nuance of university to me, making it seem less scary by sharing his own anecdotes. My wingman Karuna gave me interesting insight from a junior engineer who is settling into working life which was very helpful.

What are you looking forward to in 2019?

I’m looking forward to attending the years events with more confidence and already knowing everyone involved in the Trust will help me really get the most out of the year. I’m also excited to specialise within my degree, allowing me to study more of what I am passionate about and what I came to university to pursue.

What advice would you give for other students applying for a scholarship?

My advice would be to as sure as possible in what you want to study and let the real interest and passion you have for the industry shine through in your application and interview. You don’t need to worry and be nervous, if it is meant to be, the panel will recognise that you belong in the industry. The selection is equally (if not more) about who you are as a person as well as how well you did at school and I cannot stress that enough.

“Keystone cares for its students and works hard to ensure we have the tools to thrive and progress in our chosen degrees”

Ioana

Student

What are you studying, and why did you choose it?

I am currently studying a Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) degree at the University of Auckland. I have always loved problem solving – even at kindergarten the puzzle corner was where I spent most of my time. With a curiosity for how things function, the multiple facets of Engineering are engaging. Engineering done right improves and saves lives. I chose to study Engineering for its unique combination of mathematics, science and innovation.

What difference has the Keystone study Award made to you?

The Keystone Study Award has enabled me to make meaningful connections with others who are interested in a similar field and career path. While the financial aspect of the scholarship has been very helpful, the support and mentoring of the Keystone family has also been invaluable. The Keystone Study Award has solidified my passion in pursuing Engineering as a career and has given me added motivation and direction in my studies.

Read more about Ioana...

What is your favourite memory with Keystone so far?

The various Auckland construction site visits were a highlight of my first year with Keystone. We have been fortunate to be shown around construction sites and exposed to the process of major commercial construction. Touring construction sites also afforded the opportunity to get to know other Keystone Study Award recipients and make connections across our areas of study within the property industry.

How have you connected with our sponsor family?

I have been able to connect with many Keystone sponsors through events including speed networking, quiz night, awards evening, team meetings and sponsor showcases. At these events it is interesting to hear the different career pathways and the pace, vibrancy and opportunities in the property industry. It is a privilege to connect with the Keystone sponsors in a variety of settings as they are willing to share their wealth of knowledge and experience.

Why is the Keystone Scholarship different to other scholarships?

The Keystone scholarship not only helps students financially but gives students the support and connections needed to be successful in the property industry. Keystone cares for its students and works hard to ensure we have the tools to thrive and progress in our chosen degrees. Unlike other monetary scholarships, Keystone is a long-term and sustained programme which supports students’ aspirations.

What have you gained from the buddy and wingman programme?

It is a privilege to have one on one conversations and mentoring as part of the buddy and wingman programme. Through this programme I have been able to communicate my successes and challenges, and gain feedback and advice. Keystone values meaningful relationships and this programme has allowed me meet people who I look up to.

What are you looking forward to in 2019?

I look forward to specialising in my Engineering degree and continuing to be curious, and to learn and broaden my knowledge of the property sector. 2019 will allow for continued opportunities for study, work, sport and meeting new people. I am looking forward to the many Keystone events and opportunities.

What advice would you give for other students applying for a scholarship?

While applying for scholarships it is important to have a clear purpose. Curiosity, passion and enjoyment are key in engaging with studies and interests. Confidence and humility in your achievements coupled with a positive, outward-looking attitude will take you far. Back yourself!

“The experience and opportunities you will receive is one that many others could only dream of”

Julius

Student

What are you studying, and why did you choose it? 

I’m studying a Bachelor of Construction (Quantity Surveying). I chose this qualification because as I young boy I had a passion for buildings and enjoyed watching projects coming together. I helped my dad do small jobs around the house such as building fences and decks, and when he passed away I decided to study Construction to expand my knowledge in the industry. Working in the Construction industry is an opportunity to change and develop the quality of housing for families with lower incomes.

What difference has the Keystone Study Award made to you? 

The Keystone Trust Study Award has created countless opportunities for me. I have been able to explore the inner workings of construction at various stages, and being the eldest in the family, it has inspired my siblings to work hard in school and strive to be the best they can be.

Read more about Julius...

What is your favourite memory with Keystone so far?

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 site visits. These visits are good because we are able to visit a wide range of sites as being built from the foundation up and talk with project managers.

How have you connected with our sponsor family? 

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

Why is the Keystone Scholarship different to other scholarships?

What makes the Keystone Scholarship so unique is the support from the industry, current students, alumni and mentors who help you to find a balance in university life.

What have you gained from the buddy and wingman programme? 

This year I was lucky to be partnered with a buddy who is one of the older construction students. I got the opportunity to absorb a lot of knowledge from him about the construction industry, work and university.

What are you looking forward to in 2019?

In 2019 I’m looking forward to working with others in the industry and learning from them. I’m also looking forward to playing more hockey.

What advice would you give for other students applying for a scholarship?

Keystone is like no other scholarship you have see before! The experience and opportunities you will receive is one that many others could only dream of. Being taken under the wing of such an influential organisation is an opportunity not to be missed.

“With Keystone by my side I think the coming year will be a great one”

Timothy

Student

What are you studying, and why did you choose it?

I was studying a Bachelor of Architecture this year. During my final years of high school my tech teachers were a huge part of my life and still are to this day. This was part of the reason I chose to pursue a career in architecture.

What difference has the Keystone Study Award made to you?

Starting out on my journey was no easy task and I was faced with many challenges. This is where the Keystone Trust Study Award has made a huge difference to me. The team have been there for me when I have struggled, and pushed me to keep going and not give up. I can honestly say that without the Keystone scholarship I wouldn’t have discovered a Bachelor of Construction Management, which is what I will be moving to in 2019.

Read more about Timothy...

What is your favourite memory with Keystone so far?

My favourite memories of this year with the Keystone family had to be the Awards Evening. It was a time where we were welcoming new recipients to the scholarship and hearing their stories and background, and I caught up with the past and fellow recipients who I can proudly call friends. They were able to give me a lot of helpful advice moving into the coming year.

How have you connected with our sponsor family?

During the year I have had great opportunity thanks to Keystone and the sponsor family. I have had part time work relating to my studies and it’s an opportunity that I saw a lot of others in my classes did not have but were envious off.

Why is the Keystone Scholarship different to other scholarships?

This is what I believe separates The Keystone scholarship from others, they provide friendships, mentoring, above and beyond guidance but most of all The Keystone Family.

What have you gained from the buddy and wingman programme?

Through your this year my buddy was a massive help. He checked up on to see if there was any work that I need help with and always tried his best to find a way to give me that support. I learnt a lot from the advice he provided as well.

What are you looking forward to in 2019?

These are also only a few reasons why I am looking forward to 2019. A major part of what I’m looking forward to in 2019 is my new chosen career path. After a year facing with many challenges I now believe I am on the right path and with Keystone by my side I think the coming year will be a great one.

What advice would you give for other students applying for a scholarship?

If there was one piece of advice for those who are applying for The Keystone scholarship it is that everybody stumbles from time to time, some more then others and that’s okay. But there is no rush, you take your time, the Keystone Trust will be there if you need a helping hand.

Our sponsor family