'I signed up for the Honours course to gain extra analytical and research skills...'
Bachelor of Commerce in Human Resource Management and Information Systems
Junior Consultant, Ernst and Young
Having landed an exciting role at international consultancy firm Ernst and Young, Nick says that Information Systems is the perfect degree subject for finding a graduate job in any field.
‘I really enjoy the subject – it is ever-changing and it can be used for anything from marketing to geology,’ he says. ‘After all, it’s unlikely that you’ll get a job when you graduate that won’t be using some sort of information system.’
Nick wants to throw everything into his new career. ‘The role should give me a broad overview of what the industry can offer. I am always looking to be challenged and I plan to work as hard as I can for Ernst and Young. I have a goal of living in the UK or Europe so I hope to secure a secondment to the London office.’
For his undergraduate degree, Nick chose to study two majors, with Information systems partnering his initial choice of Human Resources Management. ‘I realised that a double major would give me a point of difference in the job market. I soon saw that Info Systems was where my true passion and talent lay.’ He adds: ‘I then signed up for the Honours course to gain extra analytical and research skills that I know will aid me in the future as a management consultant, and for any further study.’
Nick’s honours study has been around the subject of the IT skills gap in New Zealand and he is keen to follow up this work with a master’s degree at some point. ‘I feel it could be used by businesses to better recruit their IT staff,’ he says.
He has enjoyed the emphasis on research and working closely with his supervisor, Dr Steve Wingreen. ‘The staff at the Info department are really easy to talk to and very friendly. The classes are a bit smaller than, say, for Marketing or Management, which makes the learning experience a lot easier.’
Nick also recommends the undergraduate internships that are offered at UC’s School of Business and Law for getting practical experience.
‘I was placed in the University’s own Project Management Office where I worked on a systems implementation project in the Health and Safety department. It gave me new on-the-job knowledge that you can’t get from attending lectures. Plus it counted towards my Bachelor’s degree.’
Life at UC has easily lived up to Nick’s expectations of being a great experience, one he will miss. ‘I made the move down from New Plymouth and came to UC,’ he says. ‘I chose it because I really liked how everything was on one campus, and it was surrounded by beautiful trees and landscaping. I had also heard from a few friends that the social scene was jam-packed full of events and there would be something on nearly every weekend.
‘A highlight for me has been being part of the largest social club, the Gentlemen’s Club, where I was privileged to be elected as the President in my last year. It has been a blast and I’ve been part of some massive events.’
Beyond campus, the city of Christchurch itself has been another plus. ‘I love running and Christchurch has some great tracks scattered around the place. I love coffee too, and I’ve been spoiled for choice when it comes to the cafés in the city. Then you have Queenstown, Wanaka, Kaikōura, Dunedin and the West Coast which are perfect for getting away at the weekends for something different.’