2017 EY Business Student of the Year shares insights on scholarships, awards and jobs

10 April 2018
EY Business Student of the Year, Zonta International Jane M. Klausman (JMK) Women in Business Scholarship, Auckland, University, Business, Deloitte
Kanika Solanki, 2017 EY Business Student of the Year

Getting your CV to ‘stand out’ is a challenge but one Business School alumna stood out more than others in 2017 by winning the EY Business Student of the Year award and also receiving the Zonta International Jane M Klausman (JMK) Women in Business Scholarship. We caught up with Kanika Solanki to ask her how she did it and how it has helped her.

In one sentence, what is it that has made you the person you are?

My dad is a pilot and so moving around was the norm for me, this made me understand the importance of being independent, adaptable and appreciating others’ perspectives.

What are you doing now?

I’m working as an analyst in the Technology Consulting Team at Deloitte, advising professionals how to integrate and develop innovative technologies to achieve their business goals. Until recently, I was also volunteering with the Organisation for World Peace as a correspondent to raise awareness of global humanitarian issues in the New Zealand media.

What is the best part of your job?

I think the best part about consulting is the variety of industries and subject matter we are exposed to, even as an analyst.

How did you use the Zonta JMK Women in Business Scholarship money and how has it helped you get where you are or where you want to go in the future?

The Zonta money is being used to support me learning Spanish this year as I have ambitions to work internationally one day.

You mentioned women in business at your EY Business Student of the Year acceptance speech in 2017, what are your thoughts on women in business now?

In the first few years of university, I didn’t often put my hand up for many roles because of the lack of female representation. However, getting involved with the Business School Women’s Mentoring Programme connected me with other successful women, making me realise the importance of not counting myself out.

Looking to the future, I see women taking up leadership roles and organisations supporting them throughout their careers. This support, however, needs to be there even before women enter the workforce.

To this end, it is essential to have scholarships focused on women. This would encourage young women to study varied subjects and connect them with a network of successful women to look up to and seek advice from.

I have been invited to participate in the Women in Leadership Summit in Auckland. The theme, ‘How the new generation is changing the trajectory of leadership’ is something that I’m really looking forward to and think this will benefit young women a lot.

How has the winning the EY Business Student of the Year helped you?

Winning the award enabled me to choose. I had the choice of where I wanted to work, with multiple offers from banks and consulting firms whilst in my final year. In addition, the award helped me stand out from other candidates, especially in interviews.

What is your favourite business quote?

Less of a business quote, more a life quote.

“You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along. You must do the thing you think you cannot do."

- Eleanor Roosevelt

What are your long-term aspirations or ambitions?

My long-term goal is to work internationally; possibly in the corporate development teams of technology companies like Amazon or Google.

One of the great things about winning the Zonta Scholarship is the network of women I can reach out to from chapters all around the world. I believe these connections could be especially useful once I move overseas.

Anything business related or topical that you find personally interesting?

I think the move by businesses to inclusive business models that engage the marginalised sections of our communities in their value chains is very promising. A great example is Unilever, which has committed to a set of sustainable goals for 2020. In addition, the idea of social enterprises like Eat My Lunch also have the potential to make a huge impact.

What advice would you give to current students looking to help themselves and help others?

I think the best advice I can give is to have faith in your abilities and not to disqualify yourself from pursuing your goals. I discovered that often you don’t have to be the ‘best’ candidate as long as you can connect the skills you possess to the needs of others.

Friday 13 April is the closing date for the Zonta (JMK) Women in Business Scholarship and there’s an information session for the EY Business Student of the Year 2018, Tuesday 17 April with the application deadline the 19 April.

Find out more and apply for the EY Business Student of the Year.

Apply for the Zonta International Jane M. Klausman Women in Business Scholarship.