Celebrating success.

Celebrating success.

The 2024 scholarship recipients.

 We’re delighted to announce the following people have received a scholarship for 2024.

Grace Mcintyre (Rural) Leaf Resize

Rural scholarship brought to you by FMG.

This scholarship is designed to assist those with a rural connection.

Grace McIntrye.

Prior to joining Career connect, Grace was primarily working within the healthcare industry across various roles.  Seeking a career change, she was looking for a path where she could utilise her past experiences while entering a field that offered exciting growth opportunities and aligned with her passion for helping others.  

Grace felt that Career connect offers that supportive environment, expert mentorship, and a structured learning path that really appealed and ticked all the right boxes for her. 

Post-program, Grace hopes to secure an advisory role within the health and life insurance industry where she can contribute to the rural community's financial well-being.

Anna Devereux (Leaf) Resize

Women in Finance scholarship brought to you by Kaplan.

This scholarship is designed to assist women in finance.

Anna Devereux.

Anna has been working at Affinity as an Insurance Executive looking after their insurance book. She loves helping client’s day to day and being at the coal face of the interaction with the Affinity advisers.

Anna feels Career connect is the perfect opportunity to help her harness what she knows about the industry already and provide the necessary building blocks to become a well-rounded, and well-educated financial adviser.

The directors of Affinity encouraged Anna to pursue a career as a financial adviser due to her passion to assist clients with their financial support planning.  She’ll transition into financial advice with the support of the advisers at her company and she can’t wait to be personally providing insurance solutions to our clients. 

Awhina Scott (Pounamu)Leaf Resize1

Pounamu scholarship.

This scholarship is designed to assist Māori applicants.

Awhina Scott.

Awhina is the Business Manager for a Māori Consultancy in Ōtautahi and is also studying towards a Bachelor of Business (Finance). She's always had a keen interest in finance and a passion for sharing her knowledge to support whānau to improve their financial literacy and achieve their financial goals.

Once she's completed Career connect, Awhina hopes to improve access to quality financial advice and information for whānau because she firmly believe that financial wellbeing is inherently linked to our overall health and wellbeing.

Sydnee Taylor Pic(Leaf)Resize

Toe Toe scholarship.

This scholarship is designed to recognise outstanding young applicants.

Sydnee Taylor.

Sydnee worked in the Health and Fitness industry as a functional strength and conditioning coach and a reformer pilates teacher. These roles brought to light her passion for helping others and building strong relationships. She decided to join the Career connect programme to pursue a career in financial advice.

She wants to extend her knowledge and personal development and equip herself with the tools and skills to guide others in making good financial decisions and achieve a sense of financial security.

After completing the programme, Sydnee aspires to work in the health and life sector. This aligns with her passion to create a fulfilling career utilizing her drive and dedication to help others and make a positive impact on their lives.

Jenny Silva Headshot 2 June 2024

Kōwhai scholarship.

This scholarship is designed to assist Pasifika applicants.

Jenny Silva.

Jenny works as a Business Consultant at United Business Partners. She decided to join Career connect to pursue a career in financial advice because she firmly believes in the transformative power that financial advice holds for individuals, businesses, and communities.

“I am passionate about contributing to the future stability of individuals and their families, and I believe a career in financial advice aligns perfectly with this aspiration and my current role.”

Upon completing the programme Jenny’s goal is to expand her services to the broader Pasifika community, emphasizing the importance of financial planning. She aspires to empower individuals within this community to take proactive measures in securing their future and realizing their aspirations.

Taylah Marr (Leaf) Resize

Rāngi Po scholarship.

This scholarship is designed to support underrepresented identities in our industry.

Taylah Marr.

Prior to joining the Career connect programme Tayla completed a Bachelor of Applied Science (Human Nutrition) and has been working within the health and fitness industry, showcasing a thirst for knowledge and commitment to helping others. 

The decision to pursue a career in financial advice was based upon wanting to aid in the guidance of assisting individuals fulfil and secure their financial futures. 

Upon completion of the programme and with the expertise acquired, Tayla wants to delve into a career providing financial advice. She’ll continue to work on personal development and growth to create a meaningful impact on those seeking to navigate their financial journey.


Marna Breetzka New Leaf Resize

Paua scholarship.

This scholarship is designed to recognise outstanding applicants who demonstrate excellence.  

Marna Breetzke.

Marna completed her LLB law degree in South Africa and has worked mainly in the property transfer sector. Currently working as a project manager for an independent brokerage company, she manages all the administration and document enquiries from clients and insurance companies.

Marna would like to better her knowledge on insurance in New Zealand to enable her to become an asset to her current company and to add value to the lives of their current and future customers.

She hopes to establish her own insurance book one day to educate and inform her community on the importance of insurance.

Our new training providers.

Kaplan Logo (With Spacing)

Kaplan Professional.

This year Career connect has a new educational provider, Kaplan Professional. Kaplan Professional is the leading global provider of educational programs with comprehensive learning strategies and courses.

We have 3 new tutors from Kaplan Professional this year.

Simonetta Senesi Image

Simonetta (Sim) Senesi. Sim Senesi has been employed in financial services since 1988, having worked mainly for large financial institutions such as MLC Limited, BT Financial Group (Westpac) and AMP Limited, specialising in practice management, and training and compliance of financial planning businesses. Sim Senesi has also managed and owned her own financial planning firm and has been lecturing and tutoring in Financial Planning and Business subjects with Kaplan Professional since 2005. Her qualifications include a Masters in Business Administration, a Bachelor in Communications and a Post Graduate Diploma in Business Studies. Sim’s professional designations include the Certified Financial Planner® (CFP) designation and a Fellow with FINSIA.

Stuart Donaldson

Stuart Donaldson has more than 30-years’ experience in the life insurance industry and is an Associate Fellow and Certified Professional – Life Insurance (CPLI) of the Australasian Life Underwriter’s and Claims Association (ALUCA). Stuart has worked for a number of life insurance companies over the years in various roles including new business administration, product marketing and management, life underwriting, and claims management. Stuart is passionate about the life insurance industry and is committed to the ongoing education and professional development of others. Stuart holds a Bachelor of Business degree and has completed a Diploma of Financial Services (Life Insurance) and a Diploma in Financial Planning, as well as an Advanced Certificate in Personnel and holds a current Certificate IV in Training and Assessment.

Lisa Ciancio

Lisa Ciancio, CFP®, brings more than 25-years of extensive expertise in financial services, with a focus on the education sector. Her career path began as an adviser for 10-years at prominent institutions like NAB and ANZ before transitioning into academia. As an experienced professional, Lisa has worked as a sessional lecturer at Swinburne University, contributing her knowledge as a technical consultant and practitioner for the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® program in Australia. Lisa's current role is as the Academic for Financial Advice at Kaplan Professional. Lisa holds a Master of Financial Planning and a Graduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education from Swinburne University, complementing her Bachelor of Business in Financial Planning from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology University (RMIT). This diverse educational background, combined with her extensive industry experience, gives her a unique perspective on learning and teaching in the financial services sector. 

Previous scholarship recipients.

The strength of the Career connect programme is building and we have quite the calibre of talented scholarship recipients from previous years.

Find out more about each of them.