Inspirational leader, talented sportswoman and hardworking academic. The foundations for success were laid at ACG Strathallan, and now Mckenzie Northcott is blazing a trail at the University of Waikato.
Currently, in her third year of a Bachelor of Management Studies (Hons) with a double major in Accounting and Sport Development and Coaching, Mckenzie is embracing every aspect of campus life. She’s a Management School student ambassador, the treasurer of the BAP (Beta Alpha Psi) accounting club, vice president of the Management School Student Association. Plus, she is currently interning with PwC Hamilton (where she aims to complete her Chartered Accountancy).
Not only that, but she referees netball at a national level. And she has recently returned from the Aspiring Leaders Forum (ALF) in Wellington, where she experienced a life-changing four days of community work, sports and guest speakers, along with a day in parliament.
“If I could explain my time away in one word, it would be ‘inspirational’,” says Mckenzie.
“At university, there are so many opportunities and pathways. My biggest challenge has been time management. I am a person who loves to overcommit to extracurricular, so finding a balance has been a big learning curve for me.”
Luckily, the academic transition into tertiary level studies was seamless.
“ACG Strathallan gave me the best possible head start. Coming into university, I found the workload the same as Year 13, if not easier. Some of my university friends found the exams quite daunting, but I’ve found them fine as I was already well used to the exam pressure.”
The leadership skills Mckenzie developed throughout her College years, including her role as 2018 Head Girl, prepared her exceptionally well.
“Being Head Girl gave me great insight into leading a large group of students and working through challenges with the support of teachers and a team. ACG Strathallan offers excellent leadership opportunities, from in-house leadership roles like student council, sports council and house leaders, through to student maths clubs and other groups, there is a wide range of options for all students.”
Mckenzie also completed her Gold Duke of Edinburgh in Year 13 – a significant undertaking and achievement – and captained the school’s premier netball team. Additionally, she was involved in dancing, swimming and competing in school athletics and cross country.
“Some of the best skills I learnt were organisation (I had a busy school life with a jam-packed extracurricular schedule), delegation (you can’t do it all on your own), patience, and the courage to support yourself and your team during the hardest of times.”
Further capabilities were developed when Mckenzie took part in the 2016 World Challenge expedition to Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands.
“World Challenge is still my biggest ACG Strathallan highlight. As a young Year 11 student, having the chance to travel with a group of mates and experience such an incredible expedition was amazing. It taught me independence, teamwork and the importance of being super-organised – and is something I am beyond grateful for.”
Now following in her mother’s footsteps (who also attended the University of Waikato) and surrounded by an amazing group of friends, lecturers and fellow students, Mckenzie is in her element.
“I love studying at the University of Waikato. The campus is beautiful, I love my degree, and I’m close to home, but far enough away to live my own university experience.”
And Mckenzie’s advice for students currently attending ACG Strathallan?
“Make the most of all opportunities. Things aren’t just given to you; you need to reach out and find them. Never stop striving to be the best version of yourself – only you can make a change and create your own success.”