'A great opportunity to study in a professional learning environment...'
Master of Commerce in Finance
Lecturer, Banking Academy of Vietnam
As a lecturer at the Banking Academy of Vietnam, Lucy initially decided to do postgraduate study in New Zealand to build on her knowledge and become a leading expert in the Banking Risk Management subject.
'The challenge in this career is that I am required to be not only proficient in advanced theories but also be able to apply appropriate knowledge and modern models to consult the management boards of commercial banks about strategic planning and effective management,' she says.
'With Vietnam being a developing country, it is difficult to acquire the relevant knowledge about internationally standardised practices because of the lack of literature and data resources, so I decided to come to UC. It has a wide range of courses that fit my career goals, it ranks in the top 100 universities worldwide for Accounting and Finance, and it is located in one of the most beautiful places in the world — the South Island of New Zealand.'
Lucy's MCom was made up of two parts — the taught courses and a dissertation.
'The coursework gave me the tools to understand banks and other financial institutions, and evaluate the investment decisions of individuals and businesses. For my dissertation, I applied the critical thinking and analytical skills to conduct research on the performance of New Zealand IPOs [Initial Public Offerings]. I got to work with Northington Partners Ltd to collect data, and I also improved my work by participating in weekly seminars.'
Lucy felt honoured to win the New Zealand ASEAN Students Award to study here.
'I would like to thank the New Zealand government for offering me a great opportunity to study in a professional learning environment and discover this beautiful country,' she says. 'New Zealand treated me really well.’
Wanting to ‘give back’ for the opportunity, Lucy took part in the UC mentoring programme, helping new students settle in, and also represented UC in the ASEAN Student Voice event. Sharing experiences with friends and speakers, she was able to see the value of the New Zealand-ASEAN relationship.
'We international students make homes far away from our own homes by building relationships. The youth of today is the future of our countries, so the close friendships between ASEAN and New Zealand students could help develop close partnerships between our countries in the future.'
Lucy says that UC has a strong and diverse international community and she never felt lonely as an international student.
'The academic staff are really helpful, professional and supportive. The Student Development team, Academic Skills Centre and the librarians always gave useful and clear advice when I asked for help. In fact, the vast library resources and the quality of education are some of the best reasons for us to go abroad to study.'
Indeed despite graduating and returning to Vietnam, Lucy still holds ties to UC, and recently organised a seminar event for UC and UCIC at the Banking Academy of Vietnam to encourage students to study abroad here.
She had experienced a lot of new and exciting things in New Zealand. 'In the first few weeks I was struck by the gorgeous landscape and also the unfamiliarity of doing new things in a new place. It was so amusing to learn how to use the metro card on the bus, or the self-checkout at the supermarket, or how to set up voicemail on a mobile phone.'
The language barrier was a challenge at first, but overcoming it was a good feeling for Lucy.
'I was so happy when I made new friends, studied with them in the first group assignment and got a good mark.'
Lucy adds that, on top of taking regular Zumba classes at the RecCentre and trekking or cycling locally with friends at weekends, she had spent her spare time enjoying some unforgettable experiences travelling in New Zealand.
'Travelling was my reward during the holidays, after exams,' she says. 'My first road trip from Christchurch to Queenstown during the winter was amazing: all the green fields with countless sheep and cows on both sides of the road, the intense milky turquoise Lake Tekapo, picturesque Queenstown and skiing at Wanaka. I loved taking photos to capture the beauty of this country.'