Zespri’s horticultural scholarships are open now and secondary students heading to tertiary studies and planning to work in the kiwifruit industry are encouraged to apply.
Zespri General Manager Grower & Government Relations Dave Courtney explains Zespri awards two scholarships worth up to $15,000 each towards tertiary tuition. As well as receiving up to $5000 a year for three years, recipients also receive valuable mentorship, networking and engagement opportunities in the industry.
“The kiwifruit industry is set to more than double sales to $4.5 billion over the next seven years and there are great careers to be had right across the industry from the orchard to postharvest to sales, marketing, accounting, HR, law and much more,” says Dave.
These two scholarships are aimed at students in their last year of secondary school heading off for postgraduate study in any field within the horticulture sector. Zespri is looking for students who have achieved academic excellence as well as strong leadership, community, sporting and/or cultural achievements, and received over 200 applicants last year.
Last year’s recipients Georgia Cook and Libby Bradley are making strong gains in their studies. After graduating from Thames High School and serving as Deputy Head Student and a volunteer firefighter, Georgia is now studying towards a Bachelor of Science majoring in human nutrition at Otago University.
“I’m really grateful that I was selected as a worthy recipient and I feel very lucky to have this support. It has been awesome to find out more about the kiwifruit industry and it has made me realise that there are other job opportunities that look really rewarding for nutritionists and dieticians,” says Georgia.
Meanwhile, Libby, former Deputy Head Girl at Katikati College and lifeguard at the Mount Maunganui Lifeguard Service, is now a law student at Victoria University. She believes horticulture-focused students should submit a scholarship application whatever they’re planning to study.
“I am studying law and previously had no idea that it could contribute to the kiwifruit industry, however it was shown to me the many different job opportunities on offer and their reach surprised me. Many jobs make up the kiwifruit industry!”
Scholarship applications are due by 30 September with recipients announced 3 November. For more information, click here.
Eligibility and criteria for applicants:
- NCEA Level 3 endorsed with merit or higher – but don’t need Level 3 finished by application time
- Provide examples of leadership skills, community service and/or sporting activities
- Give examples of how their study will benefit the kiwifruit industry
- A New Zealand citizen or New Zealand permanent resident
- Maintain an academic grade average of B+ or higher throughout the scholarship