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Student story

Qi (Mia) Zhang

20 July 2023

"This programme opens my opportunities to a wide range of professional careers..."

Master of Applied Finance and Economics
Private Wealth Assistant, Craigs Investment Partners


What inspired you to study your MAFE degree?

Growing up in a major financial city, Chongqing China, there’s a strong presence of international business, which drove my passion for finance, economics, and understanding industry trends. I completed my undergraduate degree at the Shandong University of Science and Technology and then decided on UC for my Master’s.

Why UC?

I first came to UC as a part of my university exchange programme; before I arrived in New Zealand, I was able to meet UC representatives at my home university that helped my decision.

What’s more, UC is the only university in Aotearoa New Zealand that offers a taught master’s programme in Finance and Economics, in a triple-crown accredited business school. This programme opens my opportunities to a wide range of professional careers in banking, the financial and the public sector.

Tell us about your student life.

I spend most of my time studying with my classmates at the postgraduate office. I also take part in a wide range of hobbies include dance performance, microfilm shooting, drawing, and photography.

As an international student, I feel at home here, as there is support from my colleagues, lectures and additional services like the Academic Skills Centre – they helped me with my academic writing and language skills too.

This semester, I am a student mentor at the College of Business and Law and work collaboratively with college staff to enhance the UC student experience. I really enjoy sharing my experience and knowledge to help other students.

How else have you been involved at UC?

I am the Marketing Associate for the UC Investment Society and I manage the club’s social media to promote networking between students and financial companies.

I also co-founded the Master of Applied Finance and Economics (MAFE) club with my classmate Jeremy and the course coordinator Bob Reed, to give MAFE students a chance to network with alumni and financial companies.

Over the summer, I took part in a competition with the UC Centre of Entrepreneurship to present a business case to grow the New Zealand – Asia relationship. My team and I won the first prize! We are now working with the Asia New Zealand Foundation and the College of Business to make our idea a reality!

How do you spend your time outside of university?

I work part-time and assist Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CA ANZ) at various industry and career events. I also volunteer as a consultant at the New Zealand Student Consulting Programme providing accounting and financial advice to clients, including Customer Aeronautical Support Ltd (CAS).

I also spend my time playing the piano and completed my Grade 8 certification, and I love hiking around Christchurch too.

How have you found life in Christchurch?

Christchurch is a quiet and natural place, and I will never forget my time here! I have travelled the South Island in an RV camper van, by myself and with friends. I have been able to settle in quite easily here, but I am still catching up with the Kiwi slang!

What are your plans after graduation?

After graduation, I hope to find a job in banking or a consulting firm. I want to continue learning and hope to make the world better through my efforts.

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