Role Model & Lifelong Learner.
Getting to know Brandon Manuel
Master of Education
What were you doing before embarking on your studies?
I'd been teaching Phys Ed for four years. I really enjoyed it, but I’ve always been interested in getting my Masters. We preach to our kids the value of being lifelong learners, so I thought I better walk the talk!
What are you hoping to achieve with your Masters?
I think there’s a need for more Māori role models within the digital education space. I don't have any background in e-learning, so it's a step outside my comfort zone and great to work towards something new. I think it's important, regardless of background, to have positive role models who are passionate and want to pass their knowledge on to others.
How are you finding the UC experience so far?
Really great. It's an awesome campus and everything is very central. The lecturers have a lot of knowledge and there’s a heap of diversity amongst students. People come from all different backgrounds – Māori, Indian, Pākehā, Pacific Island. There’s such a broad range especially at postgraduate level.
Have you connected with the Māori Development Team?
I have! I spend quite a bit of my time at Te Ao Marama. It's a great space to connect with others and it has a lovely warm atmosphere. The focus on bicultural education has been really good in the papers I have chosen to pursue.
What's your experience been like as a mature student?
At a tertiary institution it’s a little hard to tell people's ages. I haven't really noticed a contrast between the younger students and the older students. It's a testament to UC’s culture that everybody just fits in. Everyone gets on with it and gets along nicely.
What advice would you give to others?
I'd really encourage anyone thinking about further study to know that it’s okay to do it regardless of what age you are. It's exciting and empowering to come out of a working system and take some conscious time to invest in your own development. At UC you can do more than just study too. I volunteer at the Rec Centre and I’m training to become a fitness instructor. It’s great to do something just for fun! At UC, I’m putting time into myself, which I’ll then be able to give back to others.