'The Translation and French courses I picked looked exciting and stimulating...'
Bachelor of Arts in French and Spanish
Bachelor of Arts with Honours in French
Customer Support Consultant, Instra Corporation, Hawke's Bay
‘Living among different cultures enables you to be an open-minded and tolerant individual,’ says Lily. She is certainly qualified to say so, having lived in her home country Hong Kong, Viet Nam and Cambodia before moving to New Zealand to pursue her tertiary studies, and hopefully become a citizen.
After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in French and Spanish, Lily's last year at UC was in 2014 when she was studying and obtained her Bachelor of Arts with Honours in French, under the supervision of Sylvie Gagnon and Peter Low: 'I couldn't have asked for better supervisors than Sylvie and Peter - I would highly recommend them to anyone, regardless of what level they are at in their studies.
‘I chose to study a BA(Hons) in French because the Translation and French courses I picked looked exciting, stimulating and of course, like many other people, you study what you enjoy! I decided to stay at UC because the University offered another course very close to my heart that the University of Victoria didn’t have. I had always been a student there, even through the earthquakes, so I did and still do feel a certain loyalty and familiarity. My two supervisors and lecturers had previously taught me, which was an important contributing factor as well.’
Lily enjoyed her time at UC and was recognized for her hard work by accepting an invitation to join the Golden Key International Honour Society, an organisation recognised globally that rewards high-achieving students. ‘It’s nice to have your efforts recognised by an entity that doesn’t properly know you which holds that official authority,’ she says.
As soon as she became a UC alumni, Lily started looking for her first job where she could use her near-native fluency in the French language and advanced level of Spanish. Luck came in the form of Instra Corporation, a company that sells domain names, also known as internet addresses, and by July 2015, she was off the job market.
'I feel extremely fortunate and extremely grateful to be employed by Instra, because not only are my manager and colleagues very supportive, but they are friendly and encouraging too,' explains Lily. 'People may think being a customer support consultant is 'boring', but I have never not wanted to go to work and every day is different because each customer is unique. And of course, I'm using my French and Spanish skills, which not only makes me happy, but it makes our customers happy too!'
Instra Corporation have not only assisted her professionally, they also fully backed her personally throughout her difficult immigration process, specifically her latest work visa application which required their participation: 'I was completely overwhelmed by the lengths Instra was and is prepared to go to keep me in a job I love.'
Lily is aware her 'life story' sounds like a dream come true, but she doesn't see it that way at all.
'I have a fantastic family who have brought me up to believe in myself and have always said I could do anything I wanted as long as I put in the effort. They have always been behind me all the way. With that as a foundation stone and that as one of my life philosophies, I have worked hard to get my BA and BA(Hons) to the standards I set myself so they are the fruit of my labours. The Golden Key invitation was the icing on the cupcake. I'm living the life I want and have absolutely no regrets. To achieve my goals, I do what I have to do, think through my decisions and listen to my gut instinct from time to time.
‘As for Instra, their faith in me has never wavered and that has been priceless. My mentors are very direct and honest which I value because it has allowed me to grow professionally, not to mention we have great working relationships. Anyone who works here becomes part of the family. I think I've proven myself to the company and hope to stay with them for as long as I want!'