By Patrice Dougan.

For the 2015 NCEA cohort, there were just nine.

Those students were deemed premier scholarship award winners, and achieved at least three New Zealand scholarship subjects at outstanding level, with an overall total of at least five scholarships, in addition to one or more top 10 placing.

Here we feature three of these top scholars. For the full story, featuring all award winners, go here.

 

Amaan Merchant, Whanganui High School:

Former Wanganui High School pupil Amaan Merchant is studying commerce and science at the University of Auckland. Photo / supplied

At 18, Amaan is studying a joint Bachelor of Commerce and a Bachelor of Science at the University of Auckland.

He’s enjoying the change of pace from Whanganui to Auckland, and the fact there’s “more opportunities to get involved with things”.

“It’s really enjoyable, it’s quite different to high school,” he said.

“It’s a bit more specialised and you’re following things you enjoy quite a bit more.”

He’s already involved in a few of the clubs associated with the business school, and works part-time as a NCEA tutor. He’s a class representative at the university.

“It’s good to stay involved, if you’re just studying the papers you’re doing at uni there’s not that much to it, so it’s good to get that sort of stuff outside the class as well.”

Amaan was dux at Whanganui High, was a top scholar in statistics, and achieved outstanding scholarships in chemistry, economics, physics and statistics.

He’s interested in a finance, business strategy or consultancy role when he graduates in three years’ time.

 

Hugo Brown, St Paul’s Collegiate School, Hamilton:

Top scholar Hugo Brown is studying engineering and commerce at the University of Auckland. Photo / supplied

Big infrastructure, like building bridges, is in Hugo’s sights.

The 19-year-old is about to start his second year at the University of Auckland studying engineering and commerce in a conjoint degree.

He wants to be a civil engineer, and says he’s looking forward to the year ahead where he can specialise his subjects more.

While an overseas experience may be on the cards in a few years, Hugo says he definitely sees himself living and working in New Zealand in the future.

He’s been active during his first year in Auckland – joining the university’s squash club, and working part-time as a NCEA tutor.

“As a first-year uni student we don’t have a lot of skills so it’s nice to be able to do something. It’s good.

But otherwise “having a bit of a more relaxed year than previous school ones”.

“It’s nice to meet new people and stuff like that.”

Hugo was dux at St Paul’s, and achieved outstanding scholarships in calculus, chemistry, earth and space science, physics and statistics. He was also a national schools squash champion.

 

Martin Luk, King’s College:

Martin Luk is now studying at the University of Cambridge, ranked in the top two universities in the UK. Photo / supplied

Currently at Trinity College, Cambridge, Martin is reading for a BA Hons in economics.

He decided to travel in Europe and Asia, caught up with hobbies like piano and photography, and completed an ACTL Communication Skills diploma and some courses on EdX and iTunes U, in the months before his UK semester started in October.

Martin described his course as “challenging and stimulating”, but ultimately rewarding.

The college atmosphere was “very supportive and conducive to learning”, he said.

He’s joined Cambridge’s famous Marshall Society for economics, as well as other finance-related societies.

Martin’s applying to some of the UK’s top banks and consulting firms who offer Easter holiday internships, as well as for summer internships.

Martin was dux and deputy prefect at King’s, winner of the Reserve Bank’s Monetary Policy Challenge, and achieved outstanding scholarships in calculus, English, physics and statistics.

His advice for NCEA students is to “work hard throughout high school”.

“A key factor is to start early, and always be proactive in taking up extra subjects, extra competitions, and extra courses to extend yourself.”

 

SOURCE: NZ Herald.

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