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Student story

Alex Cauble-Chantrenne

20 July 2023

"I've found it more rewarding than I could have expected..."


Certificate of Proficiency Arts

Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology and Linguistics

Bachelor of Arts with Honours in Anthropology

Postgraduate Diploma in Health Sciences with an endorsement in Health Information Management

Studying towards a Master of Health Sciences with an endorsement in Health Information Management

Alex is from Pleasanton, California, USA and originally came to UC on the Study Abroad programme studying towards a Certificate of Proficiency, which allowed her to credit UC courses to her degree. She chose UC "because of its prestigious reputation as a university and its convenient location to visit the wildly various landscape that is New Zealand".

"I came to New Zealand not knowing a single person in the country, and I must admit I was quite nervous coming to study here. However everyone, instructors and fellow students alike, has made me feel welcome and made studying here seem like fun, not work!" she says. "UC has a wonderful community feel to it - not only is it a great school in terms of academia, but it's large enough for events and clubs as well as small enough to feel like you have a place among the student populace. I ended up loving it so much here that I decided to stay."

Alex says one of the things she likes about Anthropology is the opportunity to travel that comes with the subject.

"It's a great way to study and get a degree while knocking places to visit off your bucket list!" she jokes, adding that: "The fact that Anthropology treads the line between physical science and social science was what initially attracted me. I wanted to do something somewhat scientific that I could do outside an office. What made me stick with the subject was that I felt I could really make a difference in the world with it."

Alex also points to the breadth of Anthropology as a discipline. "Anyone considering studying Anthropology will have to have a passion not for a singular subject, but for many things. The vastness of the field of Anthropology makes it very easy to find something you love, but you have to explore different cultures, history, biology, agriculture, archaeology, language and more – it's a lot of work!

"I found it more rewarding than I could have expected – the opportunities that come with such a degree are endless, and I found myself learning more and more every day."

With this in mind, Alex then studied a Postgraduate Diploma in Health Sciences in Health Information Management to continue to use her skills in both Anthropology and Linguistics.

"The idea of using cultural knowledge and research skills in a non-clinical medical environment has always appealed to me, and I wanted a way to enter the health sciences field without going entirely clinical," she says. "Because health studies often deal with sociological aspects within a health system, the cultural side of Anthropology and the analytical side of Linguistics really helped form a great foundation for postgrad Health Sciences.

"The Postgrad Diploma is a great way to dip your toe into an entirely new subject and expand the breadth of not only academic achievement, but also of future prospects," she says. "I specialised in the healthcare system in order to help me funnel the skills I acquired in the Anthropology and Linguistics programmes into a real-world occupation."

After completing her postgrad diploma studies, Alex went onto work with a local health software company as an Electronic Medication Management Specialist, liaising between clients and programmers to implement current and new products with their medication management system.

Wanting to develop her career further with her academic ambitions, Alex later returned to UC to complete thesis work with her current Master of Health Sciences degree.

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