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Student story

Nathaniel Charles

19 January 2024

Bachelor of Commerce in Management 
Consultant at KPMG in Christchurch, New Zealand


Why did you choose to come to UC? 

UC’s degree is recognised in Singapore, so if I decide to go back home it’ll be easy to get a job. The triple crown accreditation of UC’s Business School really stood out, and it offers a good commerce course. I also noted the many prominent figures that have come out of UC, including some politicians in Singapore. 

What are the academic staff at UC like? 

They’re really supportive and willing to go the extra mile to make sure your education is well-rounded and that your core understanding is there. They put time aside to have a coffee and chat. It kept me interested and engaged the entire way through, and you can tell they genuinely want to nurture students.

What is the support like for international students at UC Business School?  

The UC Business School Internationalisation Team does an excellent job keeping us engaged with regular events and catch ups, and things like the Tūhono Programme and mentorship. There are plenty of resources to help you understand and adapt to life in New Zealand. The team forms relationships and bonds with students, and it really helps with things like homesickness. 

How do you find life in Christchurch? 

Living in a different country with a drastically different culture can be hard, but being involved in clubs and a community of friends helps you adjust.

UC’s campus in Christchurch means you have the city on one side and the mountains on the other, so you can go somewhere full of people one day, or take a hike and clear your mind the next. It strikes that beautiful balance between the hustle and bustle of the city and the tranquillity of nature. 

What did you like most about being in clubs at UC? 

I was president of the Canterbury Malaysian Students’ Association and a part of the UC Global Society. You meet a wide spectrum of different people that want to learn about other cultures. UC has a diverse range of students, so it widens your perspective of the world. It helped me with networking and making friends.

I gained leadership, communication, and time-management skills – all those soft skills that are required for professional jobs. It really translates well into what I do now.

In what ways did your degree prepare you for your current job?

Studying Management let me experience all the different business courses available at UC, which gave me a lot of options while job hunting because I could apply my learnings to different industries. One thing UC does really well is teach you about Māori, the Indigenous culture, so that when I started my job I was already culturally aware. I think that reflects well on me too.

What benefits did working part-time while studying provide? 

I did event set-up with the Executive Education department at UC and worked at Wattie’s over the summer.

You learn a lot about Kiwi culture in general by working, and you connect with people and have good conversations with locals. It opened my eyes to the New Zealand working culture and gave me an idea of what to expect before I started my corporate life here. 

Would you recommend UC to other international students? 

Yes, I would – and I do! I’ve had an amazing experience at UC. The staff, the education, the resources – everything met a very high standard, and often exceeded my expectations.

I’ve gotten so much from my time at UC; I made an excellent choice.

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