Kristian Schmidt

Kristian completed a Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Laws conjoint majoring in Pacific Studies and is now a television presenter with MTV.

Kristian Schmidt

“I work as a television presenter. I talk about anything and everything to engage with audiences, host events, interview celebrities and run around like a mad man. I still like to give motivational talks and run workshops on a range of different topics and skills for young people too — especially Māori and Pacific.

“Studying a multidisciplinary degree really helped train my ability to switch gears in all my pursuits. I went from graduating with an Arts and Law conjoint to becoming the Pacific Equity Adviser at the University of Auckland to undertaking a Fulbright scholarship and completing a Master of Education in Comparative and International Education in the United States to being the face of MTV Australia and New Zealand as a presenter!

“Having that variety and that range as a student was a great way to learn how to wear different hats and communicate with different people of all walks of life.

“Much of my learning was outside of the classroom, getting involved in a number of student organisations and associations as a result of all the different people I met through my courses. From being an executive member in the Auckland University Pacific Island Students Association to performing with the University hip hop crew all over the world, these experiences boosted my confidence and my leadership skills.

“I decided to study for an Arts degree because it gave me the freedom to take all the subjects I was passionate about. At high school my best subjects were Maths, French and History. No other degree would let you take all of those subjects.

I ended up majoring in Pacific Studies after completing a range of courses that covered everything from Sociology to Performing Arts. This gave my creative side an outlet and stimulated my mind in ways that my Law courses couldn’t.

“This variety helped enrich my studies and add depth to my overall academic and personal outlook.

“My advice for students considering Arts study would be to go in and talk to people who have come through the degree then follow your instincts. It’s a big deal so start when you’re ready and you have the maturity to take on the challenge.

“It’s okay if you don’t know exactly what it is you want to study when you start out because you’ll figure it out as you go and there’s nothing wrong with that, but be prepared to work hard. It’s going to be a lot of hard work but also a lot of fun. 

“The University of Auckland has so much to offer and you won’t get a student experience like it anywhere else.”


Find out more about Pacific Studies