Pick a career in horticulture: two $15,000 Zespri scholarships now open

Media Release - 17 August 2016

Two Zespri scholarships worth $15,000 each are now open and New Zealand’s top secondary students are encouraged to get in their applications to kick-start a great career in New Zealand’s fast-growing horticulture industry.

Zespri General Manager Dave Courtney explains that Zespri is looking to support and encourage tomorrow’s leaders into the kiwifruit industry.

“Kiwifruit is a global business; our industry earned nearly $2 billion in sales revenue last year and we’re set to more than double that by 2025.

“We need to make sure we’re bringing in the best young people to help our industry achieve these ambitious goals. There are so many great careers for young people in the kiwifruit industry – science, marketing, finance, business development and much more – and these Zespri scholarships are one of the ways we’re attracting top talent,” says Dave.

Lizzie Boyle was awarded the Zespri scholarship last year and she is in her first year of a Bachelor of Science, majoring in food science at Otago University. Lizzie explains the Zespri scholarship has helped her see what the horticulture industry is all about – “how large it is and how the different aspects combine together”.

Fellow Zespri scholarship recipient and Waikato University business and science student Jack Keeys says the exciting thing about the kiwifruit industry is that it has a strong foundation but with massive growth opportunities.

“It’s not just about the financial support – the recipients get to see the industry from the inside, with mentors and work experience opportunities, as well as having the chance to network with industry leaders,” says Dave.

This funding contributes to university tuition fees up to $5,000 a year for three years. Recipients will also help promote the horticulture sector through open days and career events.

“We’re looking for excellent students who can show us their leadership potential, as well how they plan to contribute to our industry,” says Dave.

These scholarships are worth $15,000 over three years. Two positions are available each year and applications for the 2017 scholarships close on Sunday 25 September.

These scholarships are aimed at secondary students about to start their tertiary studies and complement the graduate recruitment scheme, which offers recent graduates a 12-month contract working across the different parts of Zespri’s business. For more information, go to www.zespri.com/scholarships

Eligibility and criteria for applicants

  • NCEA Level 3 endorsed with merit or higher
  • A New Zealand Citizen or New Zealand Permanent Resident
  • Registered in full-time tertiary study at a New Zealand University by 31 March in the year of the award
  • Must maintain an academic grade average of B+ or higher throughout the course of the scholarship
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