Roncalli 'underdog' heads the pack

NATASHA THYNE
Last updated 10:13 15/08/2014
timaru young enterprise ambassador tom anderson
MYTCHALL BRANSGROVE/Fairfax NZ
TOM ANDERSON: The Roncalli College head boy, 18, was chosen as Young Enterprise Student Ambassador and spoke at the NZ Business Hall of Fame gala. He is also competing in the Asia Pacific finals of the FedEx Junior Achievement International Trade Challenge in Hong Kong next week.

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From underdog to top of the pack, Tom Anderson impressed at the NZ Business Hall of Fame gala dinner last week.

The Roncalli College head boy was chosen as the 2014 Young Enterprise Student Ambassador and spoke in front of hundreds of the country's top business leaders and other notables including Mike McRoberts, David Cunliffe and John Key.

He was picked out of 80 students, aged 16 to 18, who took part in the Enterprise in Action weekend earlier this year, something he said was a big shock.

Although he was nervous on the night, Tom was pleased with how his speech went, saying it went better than he thought it would.

The speech focused around coming from a small town like Timaru: "When I was chosen, many people congratulated me and wished me well.

"What surprised me, though, were the comments about how I was succeeding in light of the fact that I am 'only from little, old Timaru'."

He chose the topic because of past experiences entering events in bigger centres: "Based on the fact I felt like a bit of an underdog. It's tougher coming from a smaller town, you don't get noticed as much."

A problem he doesn't have to worry about now. After his speech people at the gala were introducing themselves to him, giving him business cards and opportunities to visit workplaces. He also received job offers for when he finishes university.

He received positive feedback on his speech after it was published in the Herald. "A lot of people came up and said they liked it, could relate to it and understood it."

He said he was thankful to his Roncalli teachers Robert King, Andrew Jones and Andrew Williamson, for helping with the writing and presentation of his speech.

Tomorrow, Tom flies to Hong Kong to compete in the Asia Pacific Finals of the FedEx Junior Achievement International Trade Challenge.

He joins a team of six other New Zealand students, competing in the four-day business orientated challenge against teams from 11 other countries.

Next year, Tom is considering studying commerce at Otago University.

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- The Timaru Herald

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