Kenny is completing his Bachelor of IT at NMIT, majoring in software development and he recently accepted an offer from IT Professionals New Zealand to fill a newly created position as national student coordinator.
The offer came as a result of Kenny’s role in setting up a local student-led group called Nelson IT Students’ Association or NISA.
Kenny says the NISA platform began with monthly meet ups on campus and expanded from there.
“We engaged with the local IT industry and arranged expert speakers to attend our meet ups, and we even found a local pizza outlet to sponsor the food at our meetings,” he says.
The NISA team expanded and when they heard that representatives from the national IT Professionals organisation were coming to Nelson, they decided to introduce themselves.
“They were keen to support what NISA was doing and to reach out to IT students and share our experiences,” Kenny says.
Before long IT Professionals invited expressions of interest from students to join them at a national level.
“I put myself forward as I thought it would be interesting. I flew up to Wellington and gave a student perspective to the board on a range of things, especially about being an IT student and how we have been affected by COVID-19,” says Kenny.
“They were particularly interested in finding out how to engage with students, how to keep relevant and how to guide students in to the industry.”
Kenny says he shared his experience with them and the success NISA has achieved at a local level.
After a few more exchanges IT Professionals created the part-time ITP National Student Coordinator position and offered Kenny the job.
“It’s fantastic and I am very grateful to be there. It’s been a massive eye-opening experience to listen to IT professionals across New Zealand talk about their hot topics—for instance how the industry can meet the high demand created by a COVID-19 affected world.”
Kenny says they are looking at how they can get people in to the industry, and bridging the gap between IT students and leaders in the industry.
“We are taking the NISA model and seeing how we can adapt it to make student chapters across the country, and how we can help shape the industry in the future.”