Enhancing study through experiences

Josh Wright believes extending himself through extracurricular activities are critical to rounding out his honours degree and any university education.

Josh is in his fourth year of studying towards a Bachelor of Arts with Honours and an International Relations major.

Natural progression

“Victoria University of Wellington always seemed like the most natural progression for me—I was born in Wellington and grew up in Porirua. It was never really a question of anywhere else for me.”

Naivety and changing the world

Josh says there’s a bit of an “intellectual discovery” process that happens as you go through university.

“As a first year—especially when you opt for political subjects like I have—you can be pretty naïve. You’re at university, you’re raring to go and you think you’re going to change the world. Now I’m in my fourth year I feel like I have a more accurate picture of myself, where I belong in the world and what I’d like to do with my life.”

Lefties, libertarians and healthy debate

Josh’s studies have given him the ability to discuss and debate. He says a viewpoint is only as strong as one’s ability to challenge and defend it.

“When you’re in classes with Political Studies students you’re confronted by such a spectrum of ideas. There are radical leftie activists through to libertarians and, while it’s generally a very respectful environment, people have strongly held beliefs. You get fierce debates happening, which I think is really healthy.”

Wider experience

Josh volunteers for the Citizen's Advice Bureau and an art gallery. He was also vice president of the Victoria University of Wellington Students' Association, which helped him land a job at Wellington City Council.

“There are things that I’ve learnt from working and volunteering in organisations that I couldn’t have necessarily learnt through study. But it’s my studies that have led me to these organisations—so it’s been a parallel process. It’s that melting pot of different experiences, values and opinions that I think makes Wellington such a lovely place to live and somewhere you can really thrive as a student.”

Pacific focus

Shortly after completing his studies in mid-2014, Josh landed the ideal job to kick-start his dream career working at the intersection of politics, development and international relations with a Pacific focus.

"I'm working in the Pacific Development Division at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. I'm a development officer on the Tonga desk, which means I manage activities in New Zealand's bilateral aid programme there. I couldn't have asked for a better graduate job."

Know Your Mind

“Know your Mind means knowing you’re not the centre of the universe and being conscious that there are different ways of knowing. It means appreciating the diversity of values and experiences that other people have and being aware that your perspective is just one of many.”

See other students talk about their university experience and what Know Your Mind means to them.