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Student story

Amila De Zoysa

20 July 2023

"I was fortunate to study very interesting business concepts related to the latest up-to-date information..."


Master of Business Information Systems

Senior Software Engineer, Vocus Group NZ

Embarking on his business information systems career with Vocus Group NZ, Amila is bringing his expertise to some of New Zealand's biggest telecommunications companies.

"In my current employment, I am managing, developing, designing, and analysing software systems under Vocus Group. We are following agile principles to develop software applications with cutting-edge technologies."

Amila had previously completed university studies in Information Technology (IT), and had 10 years of experience working within a number of domains such as supply chains, financial and telecommunications, and investment banking. 

Amila has produced a number of research papers on information technologies in the past, and has participated in Microsoft's global competition Imagine Cup twice, placing in the national championships for Sri Lanka and also in the world finalists.

Wanting to gain more business IT knowledge, Amila decided to journey from Sri Lanka to New Zealand for the Master of Business Information Systems (MBIS) programme at UC.

"This course helped me to improve my business skills and methods of thinking on real-world problems in a different angle than a technical way," he says. 

"I was fortunate to study very interesting business concepts related to the latest up-to-date information. Most of the course studies were carried out in an interactive way to fully give understanding on the subject area. I was really happy about the feedback given by the lecturers to improve my skills. I had a very good experience."

The community culture at UC was especially important to Amila's first months studying in a new country.

"As an international student, I appreciate the support given by UC and the Business School on our difficult time at the beginning to adapt to the new way of life in New Zealand," he says.

"I was very happy with the facilities provided by UC. I met knowledgeable and very helpful lecturers during my study. It was a multi-cultural environment because most of the students were from different parts of the world. It was interesting to get to know these students."

One of the ways Amila was able to be more involved was to help his classmates with their technical IT skills.

"Often, I organised small group discussions and knowledge sharing sessions for other students because most of them wanted to work in an IT field after this course. This helped them to gain relevant IT knowledge in advance. I enjoyed this part from my study."

Indeed, it was the practical work in business systems that was his highlight from the MBIS programme.

"My main focus was to gain these business skills and adapt to the New Zealand working culture. It was great opportunity to work with two New Zealand-based software companies during my internship and industrial project. 

"During the industrial project in the last term, I learned a new set of technical skills apart from my main knowledge area. It was one of the key highlight on my résumé as well. 

"I completed the internship with a game development software company. It was a great experience of working culture in New Zealand. We got a chance to apply our theoretical knowledge into actual IT industry."

As such, he advises future students looking to do the programme to plan for doing an internship early on. Amila says help from Student Advisors planning his study made this possible.

Other advice Amila offers is to get involved with opportunities beyond study. For Amila this came in the form of the MYOB IT Challenge, where teams of students propose and create an IT solution to the challenge theme, and present this to a panel of judges. Amila's team won the regional competition, and placed 3rd overall in the nationals.

Following his career with Vocus Group, Amila's ongoing plan is to eventually become a Lead software engineer.

"In addition to that, I would like to become domain expert in the telecommunication and banking industry as well."

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