Eden Skipper

'I've learned so much both inside and outside the classroom...'

  • Eden Skipper

Bachelor of Science in Statistics


Tell us about your community involvement at UC.

After receiving the Emerging Leaders’ scholarship I got onto their exec. This year I've been re-elected as Cultural and Social Coordinator. Previously I was the Rotary associate coordinator. Rotary does a lot of amazing community engagement projects which I get to pitch to students.

What do you enjoy about that outreach?

Volunteering is something you do for the fellowship, the service and the community. Some of the people in Rotary include top lawyers and engineers, marketing people and property developers so it's a great opportunity to learn from them as well.

You’re part of Te Waka Pākākāno too?

Yes, I've been a mentor with the Tuakana program. I've also helped with events like the Ngā Manu Kōrero school speech competition. It's been a good way to get engaged. I grew up with a mainly Pākehā background but at Ngā Manu Kōrero it was awesome to see so many fluent Te Reo speakers thriving in one place. It's been interesting to understand how important the language is to the overall culture.

Sounds like a great opportunity to connect with your Māori heritage.

Te Waka Pākākāno is awesome in that regard. Beyond volunteering and events, they also run workshops. They did one about biculturalism which was a great way to learn about how to approach different cultures. They taught us the concept of the "iceberg". It's the idea that it's easy to see the differences between cultures but underneath there's a huge amount we have in common.

And you went to China for the summer?

I went to Peking University on a scholarship with 12 other students; Peking University is regarded as China’s top university. I was doing a research project that looked at what success means to Chinese students. We did a few tours as well, to the Great Wall and the Forbidden City. We even went to the opera!

How would you sum up your UC experience?

I've learned so much both inside and outside the classroom. I’ve had the opportunity to travel and connect with the wider community. There’s also the journey I've gone on in terms of learning more about my culture. My motto is “lifelong learning” so this is a great place to be!


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