Where are they now?

Since 2015 we have been working with the Ignite Consultants, at the University of Otago, to provide opportunities in governance.

Each year we have welcomed an intern onto our board to learn about and experience the role of governing a charity.

We have worked with some incredibly talented students who have gone on to achieve great things.

Please enjoy discovering where they are now.

Previous Ignite Interns who joined the board of The Healthcare Otago Charitable Trust – Where are they now?

Isabella Court – 2020

My time on The HCOCT Board was incredibly valuable. Sitting on a Board allowed me to gain a greater understanding of the role of governance and has inspired me to be involved in the governance of a not-for-profit or Trust in my future career.
Possibly the most valuable aspect that I have taken from this opportunity is the benefit of having diverse perspectives when making decisions. The diversity across the Board is immense and I applaud The HCOCT for taking on a student to further widen these perspectives. The discussions I had regarding grant applications from the Trust always prompted an environment where everyone was equally valued and comfortable with challenging each other's views on a matter. In my opinion, this team dynamic allowed the Board to avoid normal parameters when making judgements.
I feel that my time with The HCOCT has also developed my decision-making skills and particularly how to determine the often-subjective benefits of a social cause and its subsequent ramifications for the Otago community.
After completing an internship at The Treasury over the 2020/2021 summer, I am currently finishing my final year of my Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Science degrees. I have also spent this year on the Ignite Executive Team as a Project Manager, where I have thoroughly enjoyed managing a team of consultants. Next year, I will be moving to Auckland to begin a Graduate job as a Management Consultant for Price Waterhouse Coopers.

Rob McDonald – 2019

After being involved with the Ignite Consultants Group at Otago University I started a role as an intern Trustee on The Healthcare Otago Charitable Trust throughout 2019. 
The Trustees came from different perspectives, and all had a professional connection with the health system. It is the diversity of background and opinion which made the discussions interesting and encouraged different points of view to be considered. This is a strength of the trust.
The Trust operates within a system where the allocation of resources has the opportunity to make a large difference in a person’s life. It was a privilege to assist in this work. An aim of the Trust was to measure the outcomes in an objective way. The Trust encourages results-based accounting to funding applicants – a methodology that ensures the work done by the Trust can be measured both in an appropriate way.
I have spent time as a Judges’ Clerking at the Dunedin District Court, a role where I provide research and opinions on legal issues, and now work as a Crown Prosecutor. 
My time on the Trust gave me a wider perspective as to how decisions over funding and resource allocation are made. It also reinforced the importance of ensuring the integrity of decision making through having the appropriate checks, balances, and processes. 

Victoria Manning - 2018

After finishing her internship with The Healthcare Otago Charitable Trust Board, Victoria graduated from the University of Otago with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Bachelor of Laws with First Class Honours.  Victoria is now living in Auckland and practising as a corporate solicitor at Russell McVeagh where she is gaining invaluable experience through her exposure to high profile transactions and many of New Zealand's top listed companies.  Victoria also continues to recognise the benefits that non-for-profit organisations bring to the community and provides pro bono advice to clients at the Mangere Community Law Centre through the arrangement with her firm. 
Victoria considers that her board internship with The HCOCT gave her practical insight into board directorship and decision-making processes, as well as the not-for-profit sector generally, which has proven to be particularly useful for her transition into a corporate legal role and ongoing volunteer work.  


Oliver Pooke - 2017

Oliver (Ollie) was the Ignite intern on The HCOCT board in 2017 during his final year of study in Dunedin, where he completed a BSc (Hons) in chemistry. He is currently studying for an MSc in Sustainability, Enterprise, and the Environment at the University of Oxford on the Rhodes scholarship, which he was awarded in 2019. He also completed Oxford's Master of Public Policy in 2021. Prior to studying at Oxford, Ollie worked at The Boston Consulting Group in Sydney on projects spanning the healthcare, banking, energy, and public sectors. During his time at BCG, Ollie also mentored 180 Degrees Consulting teams (180 Degrees is, like Ignite, a student-run consultancy serving non-profits and social enterprises).
Ollie aspires to a career focused on the transition to a net-zero economy, particularly in areas such as sustainable finance and infrastructure. While at Oxford, he has been a member of the Rhodes Environment and Climate Action Hub, which is an organisation consisting of Rhodes scholars who are passionate about climate and environmental change. He also recently completed an internship with the World Bank on decarbonisation pathways for heavy industries in South Asia.

Sophie Oliff - 2015

Sophie was our first board intern in 2015. Sophie is currently a health system consultant for Francis Health in Wellington and a registered pharmacist, with a keen interest in harnessing the potential of students and young professionals to make an impact in their communities. She has been involved in the start-up of not-for-profit organisations and social enterprises that work to harness innovation and build leadership skills in students and young professionals, co-founding the Social Change Collective and the Social Experiment.
The governance experience gained by being an intern with Healthcare Otago Charitable Trust has truly created opportunities that many in their 20s are yet to be exposed to. Sophie currently sits on the Ministry of Health, Health Workforce Advisory Board providing strategic leadership and advice to the health sector. She is also the Chair of Ignite Consultants Trust and a United Nations Global Shaper.
“My time with The HCOCT board taught me the importance of debate and having different perspectives around the table. I learnt how a great Chair facilitates robust discussion, organises a productive meeting agenda.”