Paving the Way For Female Maori Graduates

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Miria Royal doesnt see herself as a trail blazer for Maori women but, as the first Maori female to be accepted into Vodafones Graduate Technology Programme, its a concept the Victoria University graduate is getting used to.
Miria, who will be awarded a Bachelor of Engineering tonight, says she feels a responsibility to other Maori women in the engineering and telecommunications field.

Its a bit intimidating to be set up as an example, but if I can open the door for other Maori women to come into this career then that would be fantastic.

Miria, who is one of 10 in the Vodafone Graduate Technology Programme, started working in Vodafones Auckland-based optimisation team in February.

Im working to maintain, manage and optimise the network to improve the customer experience in terms of coverage, speed and reliability.

However, she almost missed out on a place in the programme, which has been running since 2008.

I attended a tech users event, where Vodafones Chief Technology Officer, Sandra Pickering, was speaking. I introduced myself and told her I was looking for a job and even though applications for the graduate programme had closed, she told me to send in my CV.

Four days later, the job was hers. I was surprised at getting in, because I always thought graduate placements were for A+ students.

Amy Oding, Leader of the Technology Graduate Programme at Vodafone, says Miria is a star in the Technology Group.

She has displayed a high standard of engagement and her team leaders are confident she will make a success of her career at Vodafone. We are very pleased to have a female Maori graduate of this calibre, says Amy.
Miria, who was born and raised in Wellington and is of Ngati Raukawa descent, is following in the footsteps of her engineer father.

I did a two-month internship at 2degrees in Wellington which really cemented my enjoyment of technical engineering and the telco industry. The industry is so fast-paced and varied, its exciting to know that theres always something new around the corner.

After finishing the two-year graduate programme, Miria hopes to gain overseas experience in her field before returning to New Zealand. I want to give back and technical engineering is one way I can do that.

Miria will graduate with a Bachelor of Engineering tonight, Monday 13 May at 6pm. She will also attend Hui Whakapumau, a celebration for Maori graduands at Te Herenga Waka Marae at Victoria University on Tuesday 14 May at 9am.

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