April 3, 2024

A Conversation With Kiisha-Rose, Theta's New Technology Intern and Te Ao Māori Scholarship Recipient of 2024




We created our Theta Te Ao Māori Technology Scholarship for the bright young minds of Aotearoa to give them a boost into their exciting and unchartered career journeys ahead. Our latest recipient, Kiisha-Rose, immediately stood out to us as extraordinary, and we can confirm, she's a wahine set on her path no matter what. It feels great to help her along the way.

Kiisha's staying on the team for three years as part of her scholarship, and she's just finished her first summer with us as an intern working alongside our digital team. We met with her to see how she's finding things, and here's what she said.

Kia ora Kiisha, great to meet you 😊 Let's start things off at the beginning.

Tell us about where your journey started...

I knew I wanted a career in IT, so one day, I just searched "scholarships for Māori ākonga studying IT" and stumbled across the Theta Te Ao Māori scholarship on maorieducation.org.nz – the rest was history.

I officially joined the Theta team in October 2023 and started by attending the monthly Te Ao Māori group meetings. Then, I had my first day as a summer intern in December.

And what an epic first summer together it has been.

Tell us about your experience with us so far.

I've connected with such talented and lovely professionals across Theta, getting involved with real projects and work, which has let me gain a true experience of what to expect in this workforce.

The UX/UI team taught me how to use software to design a product idea from the innovation process right up to the creation outcome. I learnt how to plan, present, and design websites, logos, and concept ideas. I also had the privilege of training in multiple cyber security modules, investigating cyber-attack alerts and having daily meetings with the cyber security team.

Throughout this internship, the team had so much time for me; when I needed guidance, advice, or even help with my professional development, they were always willing to help.

Theta also cooperated with me when organising the internship. There were no limits on what I wanted to achieve from this opportunity. My leaders were so supportive of me as a new mother, and they made sure I could work around my son and even allowed me to bring him into the company meetings.

Any chance we get to see the little man!

It sounds like it's been as fun for you as it has been for us. Have there been any particular stand-out moments along the way?

There have been so many highlights, but my favourite would be the connections I have made with such a generous team. I really enjoyed attending the Christmas work function – it's always fun being treated to a night with great food and great company.

Ah yes, we love a good Christmas shindig.

Taking on a new challenge like this can be daunting. Has anything surprised you?

Yes! The way Theta has such a good team culture, and it really shows in the work they do. Being such a successful IT business, it was almost intimidating when I started, as I expected a serious, corporate kind of experience. But everyone is so inviting, and they always have so much time for you with anything you need help with. Both cyber security and UX/UI teams were always cooperative and friendly. Everyone acknowledged each other's roles, bounced ideas, and supported one another.

Agree - working with good people makes a huge difference.

Before we wrap things up, what would you say to someone who may want to apply for the next scholarship?

I would encourage anyone to take this opportunity to boost their education and career journey trajectory. Not only does Theta offer you funding, but this scholarship also comes with an internship where you get to meet plenty of experienced professionals, work with them, and learn from them. They happily offer help outside of your internship with any questions you have. If you're struggling with your studies or even need advice for your professional development, they're always there to help, kaua e whakamā – don't be shy.

This internship has been a huge door-opener for me and could be a fantastic opportunity for you too.

Are you our next scholarship recipient?