Our Massey connections

We love staying in touch with alumni and hearing about your journeys after graduation. There are many ways to stay connected to the University. Comedian and presenter Jeremy Corbett (7 Days, The Project) and actor Antonia Prebble (Outrageous Fortune, Westside, Sisters) share what being members of the Massey whānau means to them and how they stay in touch with Massey.

Graduation is a high point in the Massey calendar. We remember how nerve-wracking the day was: how to wear your regalia, shaking the Vice-Chancellor’s hand, and listening carefully for your name to walk you across the stage. We’re excited that Jeremy will be starring in a brand-new etiquette video to guide graduands through the process and put them at ease at this wonderful celebration representing dedication and achievement.

For Antonia, she’s playing an exciting part in the recent “success from a thousand little moments” campaign, which recognises those everyday moments that make up all the mahi when studying at Massey. When you hear the ads on the radio, you’ll be listening to one of your fellow Massey alumni who has also done the hard yards!

Jeremy’s road less travelled

What did you study/major in at Massey, and what was your experience like?

I did a BA in English and Computing. Turned out to be a very handy degree since I could communicate with both computers and people. Not a common skillset back then! I also began my comedy and broadcasting career by working on Radio Massey and doing several capping revues and other “comedy” productions while at Massey. I made lifelong friends doing those things. I also made some terrible comedy.

What have been some of the ways that you’ve been connecting with Massey?

I’ve MCed awards for Massey. I’m also contributing to an instructional video for people attending graduation ceremonies and there was a picture of me on the alumni wall on both campuses. 

What exciting projects do you have on at the moment?

The most exciting thing for me right now is seeing how many of my rose cuttings are growing into actual roses! I’m no gardener but looks like I’m going to have a 50% hit rate. I’ll take it.

I’m pretty busy with The Project and 7 Days on Three. I’m looking forward to the 7 Days live tour we try to do at the end of each year. Fingers crossed.

Thinking about the twists and turns of life, and looking back on the journey from your degree to where you are now, what advice would you give recent grads?

Be respectful. You will learn from every job. There are many paths to your destination. It’s never too late to be what you might have been.

What does the summer season mean to you, and what summer greeting would you like to share with your Massey alumni community?

I love summer. I’m lobbying the government for six months of summer and the other season can have two each. I haven’t had any replies so far. I enjoy the long summer nights, staying outside in the warm next to a body of water. Talking nonsense. I do love a swim but I’m not quite energetic or flexible enough to be a surfer. I admire people who seize summer, get out there and kitesurf, fish, dive and run. To balance them we need people like me. Stationary bodies who just kinda soak up the elements.

Antonia’s full-circle journey

What did you study at Massey, and what was your experience like?

I did a BA, majoring in English Literature, and I also took quite a few French papers. I really enjoyed my time at Massey, which actually spanned close to a decade. I only ever studied part time, so progress was slow! I particularly appreciated how flexible the distance study structure was. One memory that sticks out is when I was able to sit an exam at the NZ Embassy in Paris. I was over there doing an acting course and I was able to change my exam venue from Greenlane, Auckland, to Paris, France! My supervisor was a lovely Kiwi ex-pat and the whole process was very smooth – if not slightly surreal! 

What does “distance study at Massey” mean to you? Do you have a particular message you’d like to share with distant study students?

To me, distance study at Massey means that you will be fully supported to maintain the commitments you have in your life, alongside your studies. The teachers realise that many students are juggling their degree with work or family commitments, and they go out of their way to ensure you can manage both.

To the current distance study students, I would say keep going! You're exactly where you should be, and even though there will be moments where it all feels too much, you will get there, and it will be so worth it when you do. You've got this!

What have been some of the recent ways that you’ve been connecting with Massey?

I was very touched to be featured on a billboard on the Massey campus. Getting my degree meant a lot to me. It took a long time and I’m really proud that I saw it through to the end, so being able to share my story with current students is really lovely. Also, I’ve recently been part of the new Massey advertising campaign as a voice-over artist [for our “thousands of moments” campaign]. Voicing the script that talked about the benefits of a BA really felt like coming full circle. 

What exciting projects do you have on at the moment? Congratulations, too, on the newest addition to your family!

Thank you! In between feeding and nappy changes, I’ve got a couple of TV projects in development, which is really exciting. It’s the first time I've been part of a creative team from the inception of an idea, so I’m learning a lot and really loving it. It feels like a great next step for me. 

With summer (slowly!) announcing itself, what does the summer season mean to you, and what summer greeting would you like to share with your Massey alumni community?

After months of lockdown in Auckland, I am going down to Wellington so my family can meet baby Gus, and then we will head to the South Island to hang at the bach – I can't wait! I hope everyone reading this has a wonderful holiday. It's been a difficult year, and I think we all deserve a bit of R&R!