Scots Collegian – Ezra Iupeli
Here’s a little brief on what I’ve been up to since leaving Scots College in 1994 (25 years ago.. yikes!!)
I’ve always said that my time at Scots College were the best five years of my life and prepared me for a rapidly changing world. Scots provided me with a wide range of challenging learning opportunities, which I eagerly grasped, in order to reach my potential; and I know that most of my peers from Scots developed the diversity of skills that are sought by employers today.
It certainly stood me in good stead when I badly injured my hand playing rugby, three years into a four year Graphic Design Degree. Nine months of rehab and physio threw everything out of kilter – not only with my studies with the inability to write, sketch and draw; but even the simplest of tasks like driving, washing the dishes, playing the piano and holding a fork was challenging. My biggest regret is not being able to finish my Degree, but rather than feel sorry for myself, I decided to enter the workforce by waltzing in to the InterContinental Hotel Wellington (formerly the Parkroyal Wellington) to apply for a job in their Concierge Department, a division in Hotels which had always interested me.
I loved the opportunity to deal directly with guests and showcase what to do, what to see and where to eat here in Wellington. Hospitality is an industry that I’ve always encouraged family and friends to dabble in as some of the experiences I’ve had would be impossible in most other professions and occupations.
Fast forward seven years and I heard New Zealand Rugby were creating a role for a Concierge and decided to apply. Luckily for me I was successful in getting the gig and I’ve been with New Zealand Rugby ever since. Highlights during my time with NZR include working as a Liaison Officer for the All Blacks at the 2011 Rugby World Cup Tournament; and for the New Zealand Under 20 Team at the 2014 Junior World Cup Tournament; both held in Auckland. I’m now in a National Teams Administrator role where I look after logistics for the Maori All Blacks, the New Zealand Under 20 Team and the New Zealand Schools Team; including our very own Sam Rasch as Assistant Coach and young Roderick Solo as a playing member of the squad.
Thinking back, I owe a lot to Ian McKinnon who arrived at Scots College in my 6th form year. I was fortunate to be in the first intake of Plimmer House and the Inter-House Competition became fiercely contested when the talent throughout the College was spread amongst Aitken, Ferguson, Glasgow, MacKenzie and the two new Houses, Plimmer and Uttley. These changes to the House System, along with the addition of new events like Battle of the Bands, Rugby 7s and Hakas / Chants brought out the best in the students. I have no doubt that the success of Scots College today is due to systems and processes implemented by Mr McKinnon and I will always be grateful for his leadership during my final years.