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Alumni profile: Charlotte Hoonhout

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Charlotte Hoonhout graduated from the University of Auckland last year with a Bachelor of Commerce majoring in Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Congruently with her studies she was also pursuing her career as a Para-Equestrian and later joined a team of students who helped set up the Unleash Space, the University’s very own state of the art innovation hub and makerspace.

Charlotte made full use of the co-curricular opportunities offered by the University of Auckland Business School Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE). She took part in our summer holiday entrepreneurship programme Summer Lab in 2017, qualified as a finalist in the Velocity $100k Challenge, upskilled herself with equipment training and ultimately become a Creative Technologist – allowing her to be paid to train and inspire other students using the space. “I’m grateful for all the opportunities CIE gave me, both in my major and in co-curricular. I have a fairly eclectic CV as a result which certainly sets me apart from the crowd in a significant way. Most importantly, the connections and friendships I made at CIE and Unleash Space didn’t end with my graduation. Those relationships are lifelong”, Charlotte says.

Following her graduation from university Charlotte has completed internships as an event coordinator at the Multiple Sclerosis Society and a travel writing and publishing intern in Tokyo. She is now working as a GovTech Graduate in Wellington.

Charlotte hasn’t been surprised by the variety of work that she has been involved with and believes that being based in the government sector will allow her to “make the changes that myself and so many of Aotearoa’s young people want to see.”

She also encourages other university students not to be concerned about how to go about finding their career path. “Very rarely in reality is the career path a straight line, but you shouldn’t be afraid of that. Potholes and wrong turns are alright because every one of them is a learning opportunity if you face it with that frame of mind”, Charlotte says. She has always focused on choosing something meaningful and allowing that to guide her career decisions.

Some of the most important things that she gained from her time at University were skills she learnt through the programmes run by the CIE. “CIE was instrumental in creating opportunities that evolved into some of the most important projects now on my CV. It also helped me develop a lot of invaluable skills. Public speaking, taking a concept through the ideation process to a business proposal, articulating concepts both verbally and written, my comfort in ambiguity, my confidence in networking and building relationships to name a few.”

Charlotte Hoonhout
Charlotte Hoonhout

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Charlotte Hoonhout graduated from the University of Auckland last year with a Bachelor of Commerce majoring in Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Congruently with her studies she was also pursuing her career as a Para-Equestrian and later joined a team of students who helped set up the Unleash Space, the University’s very own state of the art innovation hub and makerspace.

Charlotte made full use of the co-curricular opportunities offered by the University of Auckland Business School Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE). She took part in our summer holiday entrepreneurship programme Summer Lab in 2017, qualified as a finalist in the Velocity $100k Challenge, upskilled herself with equipment training and ultimately become a Creative Technologist – allowing her to be paid to train and inspire other students using the space. “I’m grateful for all the opportunities CIE gave me, both in my major and in co-curricular. I have a fairly eclectic CV as a result which certainly sets me apart from the crowd in a significant way. Most importantly, the connections and friendships I made at CIE and Unleash Space didn’t end with my graduation. Those relationships are lifelong”, Charlotte says.

Following her graduation from university Charlotte has completed internships as an event coordinator at the Multiple Sclerosis Society and a travel writing and publishing intern in Tokyo. She is now working as a GovTech Graduate in Wellington.

Charlotte hasn’t been surprised by the variety of work that she has been involved with and believes that being based in the government sector will allow her to “make the changes that myself and so many of Aotearoa’s young people want to see.”

She also encourages other university students not to be concerned about how to go about finding their career path. “Very rarely in reality is the career path a straight line, but you shouldn’t be afraid of that. Potholes and wrong turns are alright because every one of them is a learning opportunity if you face it with that frame of mind”, Charlotte says. She has always focused on choosing something meaningful and allowing that to guide her career decisions.

Some of the most important things that she gained from her time at University were skills she learnt through the programmes run by the CIE. “CIE was instrumental in creating opportunities that evolved into some of the most important projects now on my CV. It also helped me develop a lot of invaluable skills. Public speaking, taking a concept through the ideation process to a business proposal, articulating concepts both verbally and written, my comfort in ambiguity, my confidence in networking and building relationships to name a few.”


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