Bachelor of Commerce in Computer Science and Accounting and Information Systems
Systems Administrator, Ministry of Finance, Vanuatu
Originally from Vanuatu, Anthea chose her degree subjects partly because she saw that there was a need for more graduates in Accounting and Information Systems and Computer Science in her home country. 'I wanted to bridge the gap between business and technology,' she says, 'and I would never have been satisfied focusing on only one of the two areas, so I decided to combine them.'
'The degree taught me about programming languages and how to develop software systems that can be used in the business world. I loved the fact that it was challenging and required innovation. I also enjoyed being able to learn and implement practical things that are used in everyday life, and being able to see the results of all that hard work.'
After graduating, Anthea stayed on at Canterbury to work on a Summer Scholarship with the ICTG (Intelligent Computer Tutoring Group) which researches artificial intelligence in education and is based on campus. 'The scholarship gave me a taste of what research would be like and increased my motivation to pursue a master's in the near future,' she says.
She then returned to Vanuatu and within a week was offered a contract to work at PacLII (Pacific Legal Information Institute) building a new registry management system to manage legal cases, judgements, and laws belonging to twenty Pacific countries.
Now working for the Ministry of Finance, Anthea is once again applying the skills she learned in her degree. 'My work involves managing the Government's financial information system, ensuring its availability to privileged users, creating and managing electronic financial reports, databases and servers, and integrating government budgets. The knowledge I have from both my degree subjects prepared me well for this.'
Anthea enjoyed the student lifestyle at UC. 'It was an awesome place to study for me personally because Christchurch is such a beautiful city. After a hard day of work it was nice to relax in such a beautiful environment. I'd never been able to experience all the different seasons until I went to Canterbury. And when I wasn't studying, I had plenty to do – attending church, reading, cooking and laughing with my friends.'
She was able to make good use of various support networks at the University – something she values highly. 'Not only are the lecturers very supportive and helpful in increasing your interest in your field of study, but the amount of support that UC offers through its various organisations such as the Pacific Development Services and Student Support is fantastic.'
After her first year of undergraduate study, Anthea received the Pacific Academic Achievers award for academic performance. 'I was excited to have even been noticed after a year of hard work! Having the award motivated me to continue to work hard without being side-tracked, and it gave me something to aim for during the course of the year. Furthermore, it was an awesome way to add a bit of flavour to my CV.'
Anthea advises anyone who is considering studying towards a BCom that 'it will be challenging, there's no doubt about it, but remember anything worth doing will never be achieved easily. Hang in there, and you'll reap the benefits in the future'.