Keystone Scholar Carves Career Path with Alumni Support

April 17, 2024

Armed with a resourcefulness that belies her age, and a proactive approach to her education, Jamie Merrick has always been a masterclass in the growth mindset.

“The Trust’s endorsement has been crucial, and there’s not a day I’m not grateful for the connections I have made. The genuine support from the sponsor network is phenomenal, and I feel such huge backing through this community aligned with the common goal of betterment.”

As a high school student with an aptitude for mathematics and applied science, the Matamata College house captain recognised a potential career path in quantity surveying early, undertaking school holiday work experience to find out if the steel-capped boots really did fit.

Just shy of a decade later, she is an industry-recognised young achiever and Senior Quantity Surveyor at C3 Construction – Keystone Trust alumni and board member Tamati Parker’s founded company.

“It’s the Trust’s lifecycle that really blows me away,” Jamie says, reflecting on her journey. “I feel so fortunate to call Tamati, and my colleagues both mentors and friends, and these connections have developed so organically through the Trust network.”

That network now includes 207 alumni in 13 countries (78% still in New Zealand) with 62 sponsorship partners spanning the breadth of New Zealand and Australia’s property, building and construction sectors.

Access to that network is something Jamie has never taken for granted, as she has opened the door to every opportunity since receiving the Keystone Trust Alf Russell Scholarship in 2015, and the Keystone Trust Leighs Construction Scholarship during her second year of tertiary study in 2016.

“Jamie has been like a sponge, ready to absorb every morsel of information available in her pursuit of professional excellence, and that is a trait that has set her apart in the industry,” says Tamati Parker, director of C3 Construction.

Actively involved in extracurricular areas of the industry, from her selection to the Property Council New Zealand’s Emerging Leaders Programme, membership on the Unitec Industry Advisory Committee, and as a mentor and mentee, Jamie finds value in navigating industry challenges collaboratively.

“As I have progressed in my career, I wanted to learn more about how women in the industry navigate certain challenges. Through the PCNZ Programme I was connected with Davina Henderson (RICS Award Winner and Commercial Director of Real Estate Management Services at fellow Trust sponsor Colliers). I can’t speak highly enough about this guidance, which has helped immensely as I transitioned into a professional leadership role.”

Since completing a Bachelor of Construction majoring in Construction Economics at Auckland’s Unitec Institute of Technology, Jamie has enjoyed strong support from industry peers and continues to credit a long list of advisors for sharing their valuable knowledge and expertise along the way.

“The Trust’s endorsement has been crucial, and there’s not a day I’m not grateful for the connections I have made. The genuine support from the sponsor network is phenomenal, and I feel such huge backing through this community aligned with the common goal of betterment,” she says.

“From summers working for the Stanley Group as a cadet in Matamata to the support of Davina, Tamati, and the entire Keystone organisation, the high level of collaboration and partnership throughout the industry constantly validates my decision to pursue this career,” she says.

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