Two students from Dargaville High School gave up a week of their school holidays to head to Auckland to learn the ins and outs of business at Massey University's first-ever "Business Boot Camp".
Jade Cocurullo, 16, and Jordon Corston, 16, jumped at the chance to attend the bootcamp held at the university's Albany campus.
The pair said there were limited business opportunities in Dargaville and they were delighted when their teacher suggested they go to the camp.
Jade hopes to go to university then get a management job and work for an interesting company after leaving school.
Jordon says he would like to own his own architecture or graphic design business one day.
The Business Boot Camp, run by the College of Business, had a busy schedule over five days.
Students from high to low decile schools, from Dargaville to Marton in the Rangitikei, descended on the campus to immerse themselves in the world of business. Throughout the programme they learned how to negotiate and speak in front of other people, as well as how to network and think critically.
Each day had a different theme and included visits from representatives from companies such as Drake New Zealand, and also visits to companies, from Chelsea Sugar to NZX.
The students represent the next generation of potential entrepreneurs and business leaders, Dr Jeffrey Stangl, director engagement and enterprise at the School of Economics and Finance, said.
He told the students on the first day: "A lot of you in this room will be leading the charge which really could put New Zealand on the map. That's not hollow rhetoric - we really believe that."
The camp was the brainchild of Dr Stangl and his wife, marketing lecturer Dr Loren Stangl, with David Farquhar, a coordinator for the Auckland Commerce Teacher's Association.