Two bright future leaders visited our Auckland office last Wednesday as part of Auckland University of Technology (AUT)'s Shadow a Leader Day programme. The programme gives Auckland secondary school business students and AUT Faculty of Business, Economics and Law students the opportunity to follow a business leader for a day and gain some insights into the opportunities and challenges that leaders face.

Anna Jessup from AUT and Patricia Paynter from Auckland Girls' Grammar both have a keen interest in sustainability. Anna is studying a Bachelor of Business majoring in Sustainable Enterprise and Marketing at AUT, and Patricia, currently in her final year at high school, is looking into studying a conjoint degree in Business and Science, or Urban Planning.

The girls spent the day with Darryl-Lee Wendelborn and Genevieve Smith from our Environments team, learning about day-to-day activities running our Environments Business Line and how we not only embed sustainability values in our clients' projects but come together with colleagues to promote sustainability practices in our daily working lives.

"It was such a pleasure to have Anna and Patricia come in and spend the day with us" said Darryl-Lee. "They are inspiring young women and we were very impressed with their enthusiasm for learning and in total admiration for the passion and commitment they have to promote a sustainability focus to the way we work and live."

The group also went on a site visit to SkyCity, joined some executives in the boardroom for a Leadership Team meeting, and later sat in on a meeting with our Auckland Green Team who shared some of the internal and external initiatives they have planned this year. Green Team leader Grace Huen was inspired to hear how conscientious these younger generations are about the environment.

Students participating in Shadow a Leader are identified as portraying future business leadership potential; nominated by their teachers and Heads of Department based on their leadership capabilities, potential and overall achievement. The University students are paired up with a high school student and encouraged to mentor and guide them using their experience and expertise in their chosen areas of study.

"There are some really great leaders participating this year and we are incredibly grateful for their time spent in sharing their insights and wisdom" said Kate Kearins, Acting Dean – Faculty of Business, Economics and Law. She encouraged students to make the most of their time with their business leader, saying it would help them to not only "learn what happens out there, but also learn about yourself, where you can stretch yourself and how you can take yourself forward."

For more information about Shadow a Leader Day visit the AUT website.