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Student story

Beatrice Holman

20 July 2023

"I love getting to look and understand what is going on in the world..."


Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and International Relations, with a minor in Economics

Master of Laws (International Law and Politics)

Consultant, Iron Duke Partners

What kind of work do you do with Iron Duke Partners?

Iron Duke Partners acts at the interface of business strategy and public policy. Some consider us as the translators between Government and Business. We work with a range of multinationals, NGOs, and local governments to help them understand and interact with Government, form a strategy so that their work will help New Zealander’s to succeed, and to keep them updated with what is happening in NZ and the world and what it means for them.  On the flip side, we also help government agencies better understand and interact with business.

What did you find interesting about your study at UC?

I loved International Investment Law as it combined politics, law, and economics. My job also does exactly this. I love getting to look and understand what is going on in the world, how it will impact New Zealand, and what the appropriate response is. I feel like I get to contribute to society through influencing policy and strategy. Our clients trust us and understand that our main focus is on how their business will benefit New Zealand.

What motivated you to study your degrees?

My Dad was one of my biggest motivations. Throughout my life he has run a few businesses, completed an MBA, and has always had an interest in politics and economics. I remember being 10 years old and asking him how the world was in debt to itself (and it took him a 2-hour car trip to explain it to me). I was a curious kid and through many open discussions about the world with him I was motivated to study law and arts as I wanted to understand the social structures that helps society to function.

In my fourth year, I took World Trade Law and International Economic Law and taking these papers felt like my passion of law, economics, and politics had fallen into place. I went on to do a master’s as I was not done learning in those areas given their importance and influence in the wider operations of states and the world (and I also wanted to say I was a smart as Dad!).

How has your study prepared you for what you are doing now?

Study, particularly doing a master’s, has helped me to realise I am capable of anything I put my mind to along with things like time management and how to write and research well. It has also helped me to grow as a person given the experiences that are on offer and people I’ve met. Things like communication, interacting in a professional sense, putting yourself out there, and pushing through uncomfortable situations for a greater benefit. These are all qualities that translate well into a work place. 

What advice would you give to someone considering studying in your degree area?

100% do it, especially if you feel passionate about it. Everything in life will be hard and you have to choose your hard – there were times where my Master’s was incredibly difficult, but I am so happy I did it. The learning, the opportunities, and the people you meet are invaluable.

Do you have any career goals?

I absolutely love my job and have some incredible opportunities as a part of it so I’m planning on staying here for the foreseeable future and want to see where it will take me. I would love to go back to University one day and do a PhD. 

Why did you choose to study at UC?

I visited quite a few campuses when deciding what university to attend and it was the only place that felt like ‘home’ and where I could see myself living. It had a vibrancy that the other universities didn’t.

What have you enjoyed about studying at UC?

I could write an endless list on this. It was the place, the people, the staff, the opportunities, and the community. It was the fact that I could be myself, be so supported in everything, and thrive. It has truly made the person I am today and provided the foundations for an incredible job and life. I would redo my six years at UC in a heartbeat! 

Have you been awarded any scholarships through UC?

I’ve received the UC Undergraduate Entrance Scholarship, and a Top Student in International Investment Law in 2020.

I was also awarded the Lady Dorothy Thompson Scholarship from the Canterbury Women’s Legal Association for being the top female who completed profs through IPLS in Canterbury 2021.

Have you stayed in any accommodation on campus?

I stayed at College House as a student (2016/17) and then as a Residential Assistant (2020/21).

Tell us about any UC clubs or events you took part in.

I have been a Promotions Officer on LAWSOC and a Postgraduate Rep for UCSA.

What are your interests outside of your job?

Outside of work I love spending time with my friends and socialising, getting outside, and avoiding looking at a screen (whether that be reading or cooking or exercising).

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