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Student story

Kendal Springett

20 July 2023

"I love the dynamic work and wide range of opportunities available to me..."


Bachelor of Criminal Justice

Assistant and Coordinator, Financial Crime Group, Ngā Pirihimana o Aotearoa | New Zealand Police

Tell what your job involves.

Providing administrative and logistical assistance to the Financial Crime Group to support frontline operations, focusing on disruption of money laundering activities and restraint of assets gained via criminal means.

What do you find interesting about your job?

Every day is different — some days I am facilitating workshops and conferences, others I am collecting photos of fast cars and cannabis plants during search warrants. I love the dynamic work and wide range of opportunities available to me.

Do you have any career goals?

I am currently looking to develop my project management skills with the hope of being able to lead police projects in the coming years. This would allow me to guide implementation of new initiatives and begin shaping facets of the organisation to better align with the increasingly popular modern ideals of policing.

What motivated you to study your degree?

I have always been passionate about policing and criminal justice and wanted to place myself contribute in a meaningful way to the ever-changing field. There is such extensive opportunity for both harm and benefit to individuals and society within the criminal justice system, and contributing to directing change toward modern ideals has potential to make a meaningful difference. 

How has your study prepared you for what you are doing now?

The overarching sociological themes explored throughout the BCJ have supported my understanding of the relationship individuals have with police, and this has been useful context in a number of my roles within the organisation.

Further, my ability to understand and interpret legislation supports me in my current role on a daily basis, and has also proven the same in previous roles, particularly during my time working the COVID-19 response where legislative guidance used by my team was frequently updated and maintaining oversight of the changes was challenging.

What advice would you give to someone considering studying your degree?

It is a diverse programme with innumerable opportunities and directions for graduates, which while providing a phenomenal tool-kit, can be overwhelming. Developing an idea of the direction you intend to go before you get close to graduation, and exploring potential pathways to get there, will make it easier to get out into the workforce and contribute in a way that is meaningful to you.

In a more general sense, as someone that returned to study following my BCJ as an adult student, take advantage of the expertise of your lecturers and tutors! I didn’t utilise the people around me as much as I could during my BCJ but didn’t realise until it was too late. Faculty are passionate about what they do, and you’re the one paying for their service – getting your money’s worth is a win-win-win for you, your lecturer, and the Uni!

How have UC’s support services helped you?

I enlisted the help of the Academic Skills Centre early on to develop my essay writing skills and it made a huge difference to my structure (and grades). I would absolutely recommend paying them a visit with an essay that you are not too emotionally attached to, to have it pulled apart and rebuilt – it hurts but it pays off.

Why did you first choose to study at UC?

For the BCJ – I was incredibly interested in this particular degree programme, and it delivered on my expectations and hopes.

What have you enjoyed about studying at UC?

The faculty have diverse and interesting experience in their fields which contributes to building an interesting and engaging programme of study.

I also really enjoyed the lifestyle Christchurch had to offer and the campus is lovely to walk through and spend time in.

Have you taken part in any internships at UC? How did you find the experience?

I received my internship with NZ Police through the BCJ programme. I had always wanted to work in Police due to the unique nature of the organisation, the range of challenges the organisation faces, and the fact that failure is not an option – NZ needs a police force. The internship provided a valuable stepping-stone into my future roles and I was well supported to develop broad organisational knowledge which remains valuable.

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