Alumni and careers
What our graduates have to say
Five Reasons why YOU should do an MEM?
- MEM is challenging – From day one MEM (the course, lecturers, director, and classmates) challenges your thinking, work ethic and attitude. You are pushed to look outside the box and question conventional thinking.
- MEM mirrors the real world – fast thinkers and actors are rewarded. There are never enough hours in the day so make the day work for you – prioritise, take action early and make decisions.
- MEM broadens your view of the world. As a Civil Engineering graduate I knew concrete, bending moments and beam-column joints. I didn’t know anything about money but any business starts and ends on the bottom dollar. MEM gives you a broad understanding of business. You are encouraged to stand up, take action and lead in the ever-changing world.
- MEM teaches life lessons – Piet teaches you to be one step ahead, deliver what you promise, and to stand out from the crowd. He wants you to do well. His methods are tough but they work.
- MEM opens up opportunities and your mind. A Master's gives you time to think, explore and discover and the MEM does this in a practical manner. You enter the real work, aka the workforce, (potentially in a field you never considered) a more rounded, educated employee ready to jump up the ladder.
After completing the MEM, I am adamant that all engineering graduates should take this course or one similar in content early in their careers.
MEM changes your perspective and your way of thinking, challenging you to step back and look at the bigger picture.
Everyone will find different value in the MEM, and it's hard to summarise a year in a few lines, but these are a few take-homes from my perspective:
- Small Class Size = social (class trips/activities) and collaborative (the majority of assignments are completed in groups).
- Taught how to teach yourself, and shown where and how to look.
- Professionals from industry lecturing help to grow your own personal network and give you first-hand experiences and perspectives from industry.
- A broad spectrum of topics and workshops covered giving you a more rounded world view.
- Forced to go beyond textbooks and Google and go out and talk to people to obtain primary sources and validate your thinking/approach.
- Development sessions and workshops which show how you work with others, identify personal strengths and develop strategies to work better in teams and become a better leader.
- Although entering into a technical role, I am confident the lessons I have learnt from the MEM will be of value to my team and help me fast-track my career progression.
Looking back at the MEM after 6 months in the real world
After completing the MEM in the beginning of 2016 I was offered a role as an IT consultant back home in Germany. I started the job at Sopra Steria Consulting in May and was assigned to a project within the Homeland Security department in Berlin.
My job is testing custom-made emergency services software and presenting new software releases to the client. I visit the emergency services control centre regularly to test the software under real conditions with the actual users of the software. Additionally I am supporting the requirement engineering process with feedback from the user acceptance tests. This is where I regularly use knowledge from my requirement engineering classes and courses on change management.
With the knowledge and skills I gained during the MEM I feel well prepared when facing challenges during my job. Career-specific courses like Agile / Lean, Requirement Engineering and Finance in combination with courses like Negotiation, Critical Thinking and Mediation prepare MEM students with a broad skill set. It's not only the theories and methods we were taught, but the fact that we applied this knowledge on projects during the MEM programme which made me confident to apply them in the real world as well.
During the MEM we were encouraged to question the status quo, which is one of the main skills of a consultant. Not only when interacting with clients this skill is essential. I've had in-house meetings with senior management where I was able to successfully challenge their point of view through clear, well-structured arguments. Public speaking practices like pitching business ideas to a jury during the MEM make meetings and presentations with more senior colleagues a lot less stressful.
In my opinion the MEM is better than any trainee programme, because it does not force you into a pre-defined role but prepares you for anything you decide to be after graduating.
Following the completion of a Bachelor of Engineering in Civil Engineering I found myself questioning what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. The MEM offered the perfect opportunity to build on my existing skill set, while developing new and different talents.
The year was an extremely challenging one, similar to an MBA-style business boot camp. This process exposed me to the nuts and bolts of how organisations operate, giving me the skills to go down many different career paths across a variety of industries.
I found the social aspect of the programme to be a huge drawcard. The MEM brings together a highly talented, but diverse, group of people. This diversity helped foster ideas and understanding of how to utilise others’ skill sets.
The MEM gave me an appreciation of how to deal with anything that could be thrown at you in your working life. The Quote “The MEM is not a picnic” is very accurate, it is not about just turning up and doing the minimum. Students are encouraged to look outside the box and come up with new ideas, taking you away from the rote learning engineering mindset and enabling you to take on any challenge.
I still don’t really know what I want to do with my life, but the MEM gave me a better understanding of where I should be heading.
Finally, the MEM isn’t a course just for engineers, it takes people from all works of life and gives them that extra edge on top of their academic success.
Where do our graduates end up?
- Acatos & Hutcheson
- Air New Zealand
- AJ Park and Son
- Anadrill Schlumberger
- Andersen Consulting
- Associated Motor Industries (Malaysia)
- BBC Technologies
- Beca Carter
- Beca Melbourne
- Bechtel Corporation
- BOC Gases - Australia
- British American Tobacco NZ
- Canterbury Development Corporation
- Christchurch Engine Centre
- Clear Communications
- Comfone - Switzerland
- Contact Energy
- CWF Hamilton & Co
- Deloitte and Touche Consulting
- Design Power Australia
- Dynamic Controls
- EDS (NZ) Limited
- Euro Elite
- Fletcher Distribution
- GE Energy
- Geest - UK
- Hutt City Council
- IGI Oil & Gas Consultants
- James & Wels Patent Attorneys
- Koshimizu Board of Education (Japan)
- Kumba Resources - South Africa
- Lincoln Ventures
- Lion Nathan
- Marlborough Lines
- Mercury Energy
- Meridian Energy
- Mighty River Power
- Mitsui Babcock
- Montana Wines
- Newmont Asia Pacific
- Nortel NSW
- NZ Dairy Group
- NZ Navy
- NZ Post
- Octa Associates
- Opus International Consultants
- Power NZ
- Recovered Materials Foundation
- Royal New Zealand Air Force
- Safe Air
- Schneider Electric
- Shelly - Germany
- Suzlon Energy
- Tait Electronics
- Telstra Saturn
- Telstra Corporation
- Transfield Services
- Transpower New Zealand Ltd
- TrustPower Limited
- Unilever - Sydney
- Vector Limited
- Waitaki Biosciences International
- Westland Milk Products
- Woodward Governor NZ
Our graduate network is strong and former students have gone on to many positions and awards of note.
|Roll of Honour|
|Ben Jar (MEM 2016) 'Best Student Paper' at the Electricity Engineers’ Association (EEA) Conference 22-24 June.|
|David Lill (MEM 2010) June 2016 Awarded 'Young Project Manager of the Year' at the PMI Australian National Awards|
|Wayne Vargis (MEM 2008) awarded the Jack Welch International Scholarship to complete an Executive MBA Washington DC|
|Julia O’Brien (MEM 2014) obtained an internship at Ericsson in Silicon Valley|
|Michael Richardson (MEM 2012) has won one of seven places from New Zealand into the Stanford Summer Institute of Entrepreneurship|
|Jessica Templeton (MEM 2012) was awarded the Rose Hellaby Postgraduate Scholarship|
|Graeme Walker (MEM 2009) September 2015 Awarded PMI Emerging Project Manager of the Year|
|Emily Bierre (MEM 2009) has won one of seven places from New Zealand into the Stanford Summer Institute of Entrepreneurship|
|Kristen MacAskill (MEM 2006) completed ME at the University of Cambridge, currently a PhD candidate at University of Cambridge|
|Nima Tshering (MEM 2004) Echidna Global Scholars for 2014 at the prestigious Brookings Institution think tank, USA, obtained a full scholarship at the Harvard University John F Kennedy School of Government, 2010, Member 2013 Forum of Young Global Leaders|
|Blair Nelson (MEM 1997) completed MBA at the University of Michigan|
|Grady Cameron (MEM 1997) and CEO of Delta Utilities, named the Young Energy Executive of the Year for 2014 at the annual Deloitte Energy Excellence Awards.|
|Lucy Foster (MEM 1995) completed MBA at Harvard|