Tauranga's Samuel Gilling has been awarded a 2015 Prime Minister's Scholarship for Asia and is in India working with a non-government agency which educates children with disabilities.

Mr Gilling, 25, from Tauranga, said his six-week internship in southern India includes working with an international consultancy firm, called the Direct Impact Group, which specialises in supporting non-government organisations. The internship was centred around the city of Tiruchirappalli in Tamil Nadu, he said.

"They have assigned me and my fellow intern Myriam Jenni to observe the workings of a [non-government organisation] called the Holy Cross Service Society which works to educate children with various disabilities and impairments to give them the greatest extent of independence possible," Mr Gilling said.

It was crucial work in India because there was no government funding for the children, who had a negative cultural stigma attached to them.


"Through our observations we hope to create a management information system that can be used to generate more awareness of the society's work and attract funding to their cause.

"To me, the experience means having a hands-on look at the world of consultancy, which had been a desired career path for me, as well as having the privilege of working towards an admirable goal."

Mr Gilling and Ms Jenni are members of the Business Management School honours programme at University of Waikato. She self-funded her trip to India.

Mr Gilling said this consultancy work was part of a larger project he had been working on to analyse the management strategies used by non-government organisations around the world.

He has already gained his Bachelor of Law degree with first-class honours and hopes to graduate in October with his conjoint Bachelor of Management Studies with honours, majoring in international business management.

"I am extremely grateful to have been awarded this scholarship in line with such an amazing internship opportunity," he said.

Tauranga MP Simon Bridges said he was thrilled to see Mr Gilling receive the scholarship.

"These scholarships go a long way to supporting a future generation of international marketers, traders, diplomats and entrepreneurs," he said.