Alumni Spotlight: Talapo Uivaa

Talapo Uivaa (Sapunaoa and Faleasiu, Samoa) completed his internship at the New Zealand Super Fund, and since graduating has been offered a full-time role making him the only graduate and youngest analyst at the New Zealand Super Fund.

Talapo is an exceptionally talented young man, and shared an honest and entertaining account of his journey to an audience of 220 people at the TupuToa Gala Dinner in February 2017. Talapo described how his parents' hard work to look after the extended family was central to his upbringing. This hard work paid off as he was awarded a full scholarship to King’s College, and given the opportunity to a world-class education and international opportunities in sports, music and academics. This foundation set him up well to win prestigious scholarships and academic awards in his early university years. However, the reality of life kicked in later in his university career. There was a particular low point when Talapo's family had lost their home and he was forced to work full time as a taxi-driver, while studying full time, and his grades suffered.

Backed into a corner, Talapo needed to get his family out of this dire situation, and ‘the top’ was no longer a dream, but a necessity. After much thought, he decided to pursue a career in investment banking, but was unsuccessful in securing a placement. Refusing to give up, and with encouragement from his parents, Talapo came up with the idea of interning overseas, and was able to create a unique internship where he became connected with top corporate executives from all around Asia who helped nurture the necessary skills to succeed in banking.

Returning from his experience overseas, Talapo was still looking for his next big opportunity and TupuToa presented itself with the New Zealand Superfund (“NZSF”) internship. Talapo was happy to learn that the philosophy of TupuToa aligned with his belief that employers were missing out on diversity and untapped talent ==> Talapo was more than the 3 pages of his academic transcript!

NZSF provided a positive and practical platform to learn, and the team were proactive in refining his analytical skills and exposing him to global opportunities. After being moved by Talapo’s testimony, Anthony Healy (CEO, BNZ) offered Talapo a job on the spot, sparking an array of offers from many prestigious corporates in attendance later in the night.

Since starting as the youngest analyst at the NZSF in March this year, Talapo has enjoyed the challenging international work and leadership opportunities he has been presented with, and the continuous learning opportunities that present which he takes advantage of willingly.

Fa'amālō Talapo, keep striving to be the best you can be, and we look forward to seeing your career blossom!

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