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“Receiving the scholarship opened the door of opportunity for me.”

  • Manaaki Scholarship - Anna Naphalay Sayyavong - hero image

21 February 2023

Thirty-three-year-old Anna Naphalay Sayyavong received a Manaaki scholarship five years ago. Anna joined a pre-departure programme in Laos to improve her English and went to New Zealand to study in 2019. She completed a Master of Business (MBus) with First Class Honours in 2021.

“It’s been wonderful and one of the greatest achievements of my life,” she says.” After receiving a Manaaki scholarship to study at Unitec, I learnt a lot both in terms of academic skills and life experience throughout my time in New Zealand. 

“It’s been life-changing and I’ll always feel humble and grateful for this opportunity.”

Once she finished her degree, she returned to her hometown of Vientiane in Laos to work in the human resources division of BCEL bank; the leading state-owned commercial bank in Laos.

“For me, the Manaaki scholarship has had a huge impact on my career and personal life,” says Anna.  

“Receiving the scholarship opened the door of opportunity to my career. 

“In my workplace, I’m recognised for my achievements which allows me to work to my full potential.  From a personal point of view, I've become more independent, confident and thoughtful in the way I live my life.”


Learn more about Manaaki scholarships