Young Researcher of the Year 2018

Nicholl Oblitas-Costa

Actions Speak Louder than Words

Needless to say, that on the RAEAWARDS night, I was elated to win. It is great to have been recognised for my hard work and achievements. I was so grateful to have been on the top 3 with Ishita Mendonsa and Jenni Anderson. As well as having Diane Dickinson, former Managing Director of Ipsos, and the Ipsos team with me. 

Going through the nomination process for the Young Researcher of the Year award was tough but I hoped that my passion for youth empowerment and my work achievements would be evidence of my effectiveness as a researcher.

The toughest question during the interview process was “What makes you stand out from the rest of nominees?” and I did not have a clear idea of what I wanted to say until the moment I was in front of the judges. The only sentence that I could articulate was “actions speak louder than words” and somehow as I said it, I felt confident that my actions over the last three years had been enough to make me stand out as a contestant.

I have been always been passionate about empowering youth. I’m part of the generation that has been encouraged to be the change that they want to see in the world. It may sound idealistic but I want to see every New Zealander unleash their potential and act on what they are passionate about. This passion led me to be more involved in RANZ and later, with another 3 researchers, to create an environment for young researchers to grow and thrive in our industry, RANZ Social.

If I had one thing to say to people in our industry, it would be, empower your young researchers. Give them problems to solve. Be amazed by the solutions that they will create. Don’t be afraid to make the most of their youthful energy, knowledge and experiences.


Young Researcher of the Year 2018 - Nicholl Oblitas-Costa, Ipsos


Young Researcher Finalists - Nicholl with Jenni Anderson (left) and Ishita Mendonsa (middle)



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