Alumni stories

Our alumni go on to a wide range of interesting and diverse careers. Meet some of our graduates and read their stories.

James Faiumu, BCOM

A young leader, the eldest of seven, and active in his community, Apia-based James Faiumu is making a significant difference to communities throughout Samoa.

Paul McGilvary, BCAHons

Alumni Paul McGilvary's career has taken him from petrol station forecourts to the boardroom in industries such as dairy, horticulture, and the motor industry

Lauren Quaintance, BA

After a career reporting on major news and events around the world, Lauren Quaintance shares her insights after making the move from media to marketing.

Judge Mugeni Siwale-Mulenga, LLM

A career committed to public service now sees Judge Mugeni Siwale-Mulenga presiding over Zambia’s most challenging cases.

Dimitri Geidelberg, LLB, BCA

Business and law graduate Dimitri Geidelberg is helping New Zealand’s space industry to blast off.

Jono Srikanthan, BSc

Jump into a start-up, says Sydney-based alumnus Jono Srikanthan, for a career-enriching fast growth trajectory.

Guy Williams, BA

Comedian, TV host, and politics and international relations graduate Guy Williams tells us it’s luck, timing and hard work that has got him to where he is today

Steve Bott

Alumni regional coordinator Steve Bott talks about his experience at the University. He shares some choice memories and advice.

Jeremy Cheng

Jeremy Cheng is a central member of the Hong Kong alumni community, leader of the local IMBA alumni group, and our alumni regional coordinator.

Karen O’Leary

We spoke with alumna Karen O’Leary—an early childhood teacher known to most of us as ‘Officer’ O’Leary from the television show Wellington Paranormal.

David Tan

David Tan reflects on memories from university, how his career developed after graduating, and what it’s like being our alumni regional ambassador in Singapore.

Paige Dawber-Ashley

Alumna Paige Dawber-Ashley has made a career of helping others—from managing a Christchurch college to operating her own careers tools and advice business.

Kate Keith-Fitzgerald

Kate Keith-Fitzgerald is one of the University’s alumni volunteers in Boston USA. She took some time to answer questions about her time studying in Wellington.

Caitlin Attenburrow

Marketer Caitlin Attenburrow reflects on how her degree in marketing has helped forge her career and respond to challenges

Melissa Sutton

Sign language interpreter, Melissa Sutton, talks about the challenges and rewards of working in such a high profile role.

Sara Morgan Watters

Sara Morgan Watters has fond memories of her time studying in New Zealand and still feels a sense of connection from her home in the United States.

Ashwin Sharma

Currently working from home in Melbourne, Ashwin Sharma shares some tips and his memories of the unforgettable Professor Don Trow.

Sam Possenniski

Founder and GrandMaster of Yeastie Boys, Sam Possenniski, understands the value of a good brew in challenging times.

Liam Jolliffe

We caught up with Liam who is currently studying toward a PhD in maths at University of Cambridge, “trying to answer questions that no one knows the answer to”.

Richard Cawood

There are many strings to Richard Cawood’s bow. He shares with us his story of practicing law, becoming an entrepreneur and giving back.

Nigel Searancke

Alumnus Nigel Searancke’s openness to new ideas is holding him in good stead as he leads his catering business through challenging times.

Clinton Williams

Alumnus Clinton Williams discusses his nearly two decades of service in the Royal New Zealand Navy and the experiences that led to a new professional challenge.

Sarah Catherall

Freelance journalist Sarah Catherall has come ‘home’ to Te Herenga Waka–Victoria University of Wellington to study creative writing.

Daniel Pengelly

Artistic Director and alumnus Daniel Pengelly shares memories of his move from performer to director, and of study in Wellington.

Mai Anh Nguyen

Pushing through culture shock to study Marketing and Finance in Wellington was worth it, says Mai Anh Nguyen, who’s now Head of Audience Insight at Adtima.

Adam McConnochie

Hearing from the “big names” in history scholarship inspired Adam McConnochie as a student. He’s now helping inspire young leaders.

David von Dadelszen

London-based law and arts alumnus David von Dadelszen headhunts top lawyers and helps up-and-comers navigate their career options.

Te Pūoho Katene BSc, BA

Te Pūoho Katene (Ngāti Toa Rangātira, Ngāti Whātua, Ngāti Tama) graduated in 2007 with a double degree in Marine Biology, Ecology and Biodiversity.

Peggy Nobes MSwDev

Software developer Peggy Nobes shares her insights after deciding on a new path in her career.

Yasmin Yaacob

The jump from law to creative content producer might seem unusual, but for Yasmin Yaacob, her law degree has served her well as both an artist and an executive.

Erin Judge

Erin Judge (Ngāti Tūwharetoa) has combined a strong sense of social justice with a law degree to make a real difference in giving a voice to those without one.

Polly Grainger

As a graduate nurse, Polly Grainger never thought she’d leave the floor but now as a clinical projects specialist she says she’s never felt more fulfilled.

Robert Curry, BA, BSc

Game developer and co-founder of Dinosaur Polo Club Robert Curry reflects on how his degrees have helped in his career as a game designer.

Kirk Hope, LLB, BAHons, LLM

In a career dedicated to business advocacy, Kirk Hope helps New Zealand businesses understand complex challenges and gain confidence during uncertain times.

Davinnia Tan, LLB, BA, LLM

Davinnia Tan is forging a successful law career through telling it how it is and keeping people at the heart of everything she does.

Lingy Au, BTM, BCA

Lingy Au is blazing a path through the entrepreneurship scene, supporting the best startups in Aotearoa scale and grow on the global stage.

Srishti Narayan, BCAHons

Srishti Narayan counts herself lucky with her latest opportunity: heading up the Global Marketing team at Tourism Fiji.

Sian Crowley, BSC

Sian Crowley (née Moffitt) has a passion for the environment. For over 10 years, she’s been involved in projects aimed at protecting our natural environment.

Patrick Kishino, BE

Alumnus Patrick Kishino reflects on memories from university, his career journey after graduating, and the highs and lows of living and working overseas.

John Peterson, LLBHons, MA

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University alumnus John Peterson is shaking up the world of international tax.

Anson Xu, BCA

Commerce graduate Anson Xu built a successful career in Shanghai, with recent opportunities professionally and personally providing ways to give back to NZ.

Podcast interviews

Listen to the University's Sarah Forster interview graduates Freya Daly Sadgrove, Eamonn Marra, and Karen O'Leary.