Savvy welcomes students from all tertiary institutions throughout New Zealand, including Asia Savvy alumni and friends as well as new undergraduate and post-graduate students. Our conference and other networking events provide the opportunity for students to connect by sharing ideas and experiences.


Students engage in an informal learning environment with professional speakers from industry and experts from academia and the public/NGO sectors,. Speakers discuss key issues and challenges relevant to the conference topic, sharing their stories, insights and knowledge from on-the-ground experience in Asia.


Applicants submit a 300 word essay to secure a place at the conference. Prizes are awarded for best essays along with the chance to be published in our conference e-book. The conference provides ample opportunity for students to engage in lively discussions and share ideas and experiences.

Build a career for the Asian century

Saturday, 14 September 2019

Join us for a day of learning and networking with like-minded students at the 9th annual Asia Savvy conference. Discover how to engage with Asia and the world, develop the skills to succeed in a connected and culturally diverse world, and link your education with your career path.

This year we’ll be exploring a range of questions relevant to building a successful career in the Asian century, such as:

  • Why is this considered to be the Asian century, and how does that impact our future global careers?
  • What are key areas for knowledge, skill and capability development that I should focus on?

Engage directly with people who have worked and lived in Asia and gained valuable experience in their respective fields – our panellists and will offer insights based on their own experiences, including:

  • How they discovered the value of being Asia Savvy
  • Tips on personal skills, habits and strategies that helped them build their careers
  • What they wished they had known earlier in their journeys

An awesome day awaits with healthy food, prizes and quizzes, followed by a dinner for you and new friends at Auckland’s local Kimchi Project restaurant (limited seats). We can’t wait to see you.

Meet the committee for the 2019 Asia Savvy Conference.

Follow us on Facebook for updates:


9.30am Registration, tea and coffee


  • Natasha Hamilton-Hart, New Zealand Asia Institute
  • Kelsey Eaton and Allan Chan, Asia Savvy Committee

Keynote: Asia Matters

  • Carolyn Schwalger, Programme Director, NEMA Transition, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet

Panel 1: Skills required to shape a successful career working with or in Asian markets

  • Lorraine Salazar, Knowledge Expert, McKinsey & Co., Singapore
  • Felicity Roxburgh, Director Business, Asia New Zealand Foundation
  • Chris Henderson, Associate Director, Institute of Professional Learning, International Education & Development, Faculty of Education, University of Waikato

Discussion led by moderator (Marie Ysabel Landingin)
(15-minute presentations followed by Q&A)

12pm Panel 1 Workshop (Facilitator: Marie Ysabel Landingin)
12.30pm Lunch
1:15 pm: ‘Storytelling’ by Willy Pham, Co-founder & Director, BizEyes, Vietnam.

Panel 2: First-hand career tips for success

  • Michele Lam, Export Markets Manager, Villa Maria
  • Mitchell Pham, Director, Augen Software group
  • Jerry He, Founder, Olivia Premium

Discussion led by moderator (Abby Wong)
(15-minute presentations followed by Q&A)

3pm Afternoon tea sponsored by Asia New Zealand Foundation Te Whītau Tūhono
3.20pm Panel 2 Workshop (Facilitator: Abby Wong)
3.50pm Awards and concluding remarks
4.10pm Asia Savvy quiz sponsored by Gong Cha
5pm Guided walk to The Kimchi Project, 20 Lorne Street, Auckland
5.30-7.30pm Networking dinner, The Kimchi Project

Sponsored by:


Are you keen on increasing your leadership potential by being Asia-Savvy AND…

  • Learning from and interacting with experts from academia, industry, government and NGO sectors in lively discussions and workshops.
  • Networking with like-minded students in discussions and workshops.
  • Having the opportunity to have your essay published.


This student-led conference is organised and supported by the New Zealand Asia Institute of the University of Auckland. It aims to attract a dynamic group of students from New Zealand universities nationwide. This presents attractive sponsorship opportunities for business and organisations whose participation would enhance the event.


The Asia Savvy Ambassador Programme provides students with the opportunity to act as liaisons between Asia Savvy and their respective universities.