Earlier this month, Buddle Findlay welcomed Brooke Anderson, a member of the Halberg youth council to our Wellington office to participate in the Buddle Findlay and Halberg career experience programme.
Along with several students participating in the Student 360 programme, Brooke was welcomed with a mihimihi and kai at Buddle Findlay's Wellington office. Chief executive, Philip Maitland, says "providing an opportunity for young students with disabilities to gain work experience supports our commitment as a firm to have an inclusive environment where everyone has equal opportunities to thrive. It has been fantastic to have Brooke in our office as part of the career experience programme and we look forward to hearing how Brooke develops her skills as she embarks on her tertiary studies next year".
During Brooke's three day career experience, she met with members of the people and culture and marketing teams providing her with an insight into their roles in the firm. Brooke also attended the monthly te taiao (environment) committee meeting, participated in a barista workshop, and spent time with her Buddle Findlay buddy who shared what it is like to work in a large law firm.
The Buddle Findlay and Halberg career experience programme was first developed in 2018 with the Halberg Foundation, after Buddle Findlay heard from the Halberg youth council members, mostly university students, that it is really difficult to get work experience during the holidays. The main objective is to assist students from the Halberg youth council, who all have physical disabilities, to gain work experience.
At the conclusion of Brooke's career experience, she joined members of the Halberg youth council for their annual hui, held at the Buddle Findlay Wellington offices. She shared her experience with her fellow council members and encouraged them to take up any future career experience opportunities commenting that she "loved the experience and it exceeded her expectations".
Brooke says, "for me personally it was wonderful to see and meet the diversity of people that work at Buddle Findlay, it has opened my eyes to the fact that my disability does not limit me if I want to look at working for a corporate company. The three days I spent have definitely given me a glimpse into the world of people and culture. I know what I've learnt is only the tip of the iceberg, but now when I look at what papers I may take at university I can see how they fit into a career".
As a year 13 student, Brooke intends to attend university next year and work towards a commerce degree that involves working with people, training and advocacy. Brooke is a nationally classified para swimmer and has been selected to represent New Zealand in the upcoming tri series swim meet against Australian and Pacific Island teams. She is also one of ten on the national Halberg youth council and on the board of IAM (inclusive activity murihiku). Brooke is part of the New Zealand youth voice group for the curriculum refresh run by the Office of the Children’s Commissioner and Ministry of Education as a māori and disability representative. This role allows her to actively advocate for a curriculum that reflects the needs and experiences of diverse learners.
Watch the video below to learn more about Brooke's career experience with Buddle Findlay.